NEW hunting regulations have been gazetted in Victoria.
Sporting Shooters Association of Australia hunting and conservation manager Colin Wood said a key change to the Wildlife Game Regulations 2012 concerned public safety.
The exclusion period in which only licensed duck hunters can enter the specified hunting areas has been extended to every day of the three-month duck season.
The exclusion boundary has also been increased from five metres from the shoreline, to 25 metres.
Mr Wood said this new regulation would increase the safety of both hunters and protesters.
““In an ideal world we would like the exclusion zone out to 200 to 300 metres, but this change is a step in the right direction.” Mr Wood said the changes would not affect Bendigo hunters too much.
But he said hunters would need to study the regulations beforehand.
“The state’s hunting regulations have a clause that requires them to be remade every 10 years and the changes made are common sense,” he said.
Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh said the majority of existing arrangements for game hunting in Victoria remained unchanged.
“Concerns were raised about the public safety for enforcement officers, protesters and hunters on waterways during the annual duck season,” he said.
“The regulations have been updated with extended safety zones and exclusion times for the protection of all persons.
“The update regulations strike the right balance between the needs of hunters, environmental conservation, animal welfare and public safety.”
But the change has been slammed by the Coalition Against Duck Shooting, which has said the Government is trying to keep protesters off wetlands for the entire duck shooting season.