Duck shooting is wrong and has had its day
As an anti-duck shooting advocate I was impressed with many of Mr George Wyatt’s comments in his recent letter, “In Defence of Hunting”.
It was refreshing to read that he as a hunter acknowledged that “any killing does involve cruelty” and admits what I and others know only too well, that when domesticated animals face slaughter they are very aware of what is happening, that they suffer.
But I do find his excuse that the surprise kill (often not a clean kill though) of wildlife is any better - the animals still suffer, they still die when they want to live.
He also, to my surprise, admitted there are a few “irresponsible shooters” but was incorrect in his statement saying that police and wildlife officers will catch and make an example of these offenders. I wonder how many cases Mr Wyatt is aware of where irresponsible shooters have actually been apprehended let alone prosecuted.
The truth of the matter is wildlife officers do not have the required resources to do so, and rarely if ever are able to identify which shooter shot any of the hundreds of rare protected birds that die at each slaughter season. To the shooters, if it flies it is fair game.
Mr Wyatt later goes on to say that shooting is regulated, and again talks about irresponsible and even unethical shooters, so one has to wonder how he can have it both ways: is hunting regulated or not? As with many so-called sports, compassionate people who love animals believe if a sporting body cannot self-regulate and involves cruelty to animals, as with greyhound racing, it needs to be banned.
I could write so much more about Mr Wyatt's letter, but will end on his comments around duck breeding numbers, his defence of why he should be able to go out and slaughter innocent wildlife as sport, even though duck numbers are at stressed levels due to the drought.
Bans have been held on duck shooting in Victoria in 2003, 2007 and 2008, due to drought and low native waterbird numbers. The science tells us 2019 is as bad, if not worse, as in those years where duck shooting has been stopped. So why hasn’t this season been halted? We have the same government, yet different ministers - is that why? Our worsening environmental performance is criticised locally and abroad, the evidence is clear Australia’s state and federal environment ministers are under fire for their apathetic approach to the protection of Australia’s unique fauna.
I appeal to our ministers, reverse this terrible trend before it is too late for our future generations. How much more damage can you do this wonderful country, its environment and its fauna.
Victoria needs to follow the example of Western Australia in 1990, NSW in 1995, and Queensland in 2005 that have banned this slaughter of fauna.
Mr Andrews please recall the words of Premier Peter Beatty: “There will be no more duck and quail hunting in Queensland ... This is not an appropriate activity in contemporary life in the Smart State.”
And Mr Wyatt as you did ask, yes I am vegan but one does not need to be vegan to know duck shooting is wrong and has had its day.
Glynn Jarrett, Ravenswood South
Letters must carry the name, full address and telephone number of the author. The writer’s name and suburb/town will be published. We reserve the right to edit letters. Letters which are deemed inappropriate will not be published.Send letters to Bendigo Advertiser, PO Box 61, Bendigo 3552 or at bendigoadvertiser.com.au
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.