An anti-duck hunting activist group is threatening to target the Kerang Wetlands at this weekend's duck hunting season with 'rescue teams'.
The Coalition Against Duck Shooting’s Campaign Director, Laurie Levy, congratulated the Andrews Government closing some wetlands to protect threatened species before the opening of the Victorian recreational duck shooting season.
"However, many more wetlands with threatened species require urgent closure in order to protect these birds from the shooters’ guns,'' Mr Levy said.
“Unless the government closes additional critical wetlands with threatened species, Animals Australia and the Coalition Against Duck Shooting will again look at a Supreme Court challenge to close these wetlands.”
Levy said he has been advised that the RSPCA’s high-tech mobile veterinary clinic will not be treating wounded birds on the wetlands this year.
“We have been told that the Game Management Authority (GMA) does not want the RSPCA to accept wounded birds from duck rescuers who break the law. Rescuers are forced to break a highly contentious political law by entering the water before 10am to rescue the shooters’ victims.
The Game Management Authority (GMA) Chief Executive Officer Greg Hyams is encouraging hunters to act responsibly, observe all relevant laws and take the time to educate new and junior hunters.
“Victoria has a long tradition of duck hunting and hunters generate significant economic activity in Victorian rural towns and regional centres”, Mr Hyams said.
“Improved wetland conditions across Victoria will see a large proportion of the state’s 26,000 duck hunters active over the opening weekend.”
“Hunters are reminded they must be licensed, use non-toxic shot, adhere to bag limits and hunting times, respect private property and use firearms safely.
“It is a serious offence to discharge a firearm on or across private property without the land owner’s consent. Hunters are also reminded that the Blue-winged Shoveler cannot be hunted this season.”