Duck hunting outdated, killing off jobs and birds
Response to George Wyatt’s “In defence of hunting” (Bendigo Advertiser, Letters to the Editoral, February 2). Whilst it’s always been a minority activity, numbers of duck shooters have dwindled over the decades. Only two in every 1000 Victorians turned out to shoot our native waterbirds last season (GMA). Putting it in the past alongside steel traps and prevention of women’s rights to vote, is long overdue.
As society evolves, fewer folk condone the extreme suffering proven to be inflicted on our native waterbirds, who are known to feel fear, pain and sorrow. It is estimated at least 1 in 4 of the hundreds of thousands of birds shot, will be wounded, often flying or limping away, only to die a slow painful death elsewhere. This is an unavoidable output of shotgun pellet spray, even by the best shooters. The horrific animal suffering in duck shooting is widely recognized and one of the reasons other states have banned it. Other states have also recognized the need to protect our struggling numbers of native waterbirds, many unique to our country, for future generations.
We thank Mr Wyatt for conceding there are irresponsible hunters. Sadly, the full extent of their destructiveness – how many and what species of bird they shoot – cannot be known as it is impossible to monitor the thousands of waterways where duck shooting occurs around the state. The ongoing examples of illegally shot protected species, of wounded birds not retrieved, brought to the public’s attention by ordinary people who happen to witness it – not the authorities – is a sure indication of a much larger issue. Duck shooting is not only unpopular, but impossible to regulate. Nor is it helping our rural economy. Small rural Victorian towns, including around “duck shooting” areas, are doing financially worse than other states (SGS Economics 2018, ATO poorest postcodes 2018). We are parched for jobs and cash. Yet here we are, with stunning wetland habitats home to amazing native birdlife, screaming for inclusion in what could be a booming rural Victorian Nature Based Tourism Trail, linking into other rural attractions, increasing the likelihood of the lucrative overnight stays by tourists currently bestowing their riches to QLD and NSW.
Whilst a handful of duck shooters may bring some small change to a few of our rural towns for a few months of the year, nature based tourism – which duck shooting deters – is bringing millions year-round elsewhere. One only need look at the success of Lake Tyrrell, the Great Ocean Road, Phillip Island penguins and Kakadu, to see our untapped potential. Our rural grandchildren deserve access to jobs and financial security and to be able to enjoy the native wildlife we do today. We do them no favors by persisting in allowing an outdated pastime which is killing off both.
Regional Victorians Opposed to Duck Shooting Inc
Refugee care woeful
I did not believe that an Australian government, could shock me any further in regard to refugees. But, they have. The government has stated they have voted against helping the seriously ill on Manus and Nauru. They will not allow them to receive essential treatment here in Australia. I never believed that Australia would allow, or even condone, such horrible treatment of other human beings, but unfortunately, I have been proven wrong
Fr Noel Richards, Strathdale
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