By Kate Bossence, Kerang
How disappointing and disgusting of the gutless Andrews Government to declare a Victorian duck shooting season this year.
Premier Daniel Andrews and the Labor Government are to be widely condemned for announcing a season, particularly as there is absolutely no water anywhere for bird numbers to breed and feed.
While it is slightly heartening that the season only goes for five weeks, it doesn't prevent the fact that thousands of ducks and other bird species will lose their lives unnecessarily at the hands of those who display a blood lust in killing small defenceless animals.
Bird numbers and species are at critical levels Australia-wide; for the Andrews Government to declare a modified season come May is suicide for the birds.
Daniel Andrews is clearly out of touch with reality. While he has effectively stopped the logging of old growth forests he still supports those who go out of their way to destroy Victoria's beautiful but fast diminishing wetlands and the native waterbird species that reside in them.
I personally invite Mr Andrews to attend an opening weekend of duck shooting. He can witness the behaviour of those clearly under the influence of alcohol and drugs in possession of a deadly weapon.
He can see the terrible suffering of gut-shot and wounded birds attempting to flee for their very lives, unable to escape from those who support this cowardly ‘sport'.
He can see the slow strangulation of waterbirds by duck shooters and see birds clearly still alive, writhing and kicking, on the belts of shooters.
He can see the rubbish, crushed Aborigional middens, broken nests, smashed eggs and human waste not buried that duck shooters leave behind year after year.
He can see the illegal behaviour of duck shooters shooting birds across the water without checking for safety of other people in the vicinity.
He can see that duck shooters do not support in any way struggling regional towns.
Some 90 per cent of duck shooters come from Melbourne. They buy their supplies there where it is much much cheaper.
They camp on the so-called designated wetlands both legally and illegally.
It is an insult that the Victorian Government, the Game Management Authority, The Nationals, The Shooters and Fishers Party and Victorian Field and Game believe that duck shooters bring welcome money to struggling regional towns.
I can categorically and definitely say, that over 24 years of rescuing ducks and waterbirds, that duck shooters DO NOT spend any money in regional towns except at local gun shops or the local pubs.
It is time that Victorians, both metropolitan and regional, take a stand against duck shooting for good in this state.
There is absolutely no sustainability in shooting such beautiful, gentle bird species.
I implore the Andrews Government to put in a permanent ban of this vile activity.
Waterbird species should not have to exist so that those who take delight in killing such wonderful species kill them in a blood lust.
I for one welcome a government with the courage, conviction and vision to do this and thus encourage and support nature-based tourism in Kerang and beyond.