MEMBER for Bendigo East, Jacinta Allan has shot down calls from within her electorate to ban duck hunting.
A telephone survey of 525 constituents found more than half were supportive of a ban on recreational shooting of native waterbirds in Victoria. More than 42 per cent were strongly supportive.
Forty per cent of respondents opposed a ban, 21.6 per cent of which felt strongly.
The research was commissioned by Regional Victorians Opposed to Duck Shooting.
Asked to respond to its findings, Ms Allan said: "We have no plans to ban duck hunting.
"I respect the fact that people have deeply held and divergent views about duck hunting, but the government recognises it as a legitimate recreational activity, provided the rules are followed."
The Game Management Authority advises the government about what could be considered safe, responsible hunting practices.
Bendigo East resident Julie Sloan said she had major concerns about the practice of duck hunting, including the challenges associated with compliance monitoring.
She said duck hunting was a "cruel and outdated practice", which many of the people she knew opposed.
A 2007 Roy Morgan poll found 75 per cent of Victorians thought shooting native water birds for recreational purposes should be banned in Victoria.
The proportion of respondents against duck hunting rose to 87 per cent after researchers spoke to those who were either undecided or believed the practice should continue about bans in other states and the effects of duck hunting, climate change and drought on bird populations.
Ms Sloan said she would be very disappointed if her local member, the premier and the state government had no plans to ban duck hunting.
"Community sentiment needs to be represented," she said.
"Native water birds need to be protected... not shot. We need to be protecting our wetland environments."
Bendigo East survey respondents were divided on whether they would like to see their local member support an end to duck shooting.
More than 46 per cent wanted Ms Allan to take action, but 42 per cent did not. Just over 11 per cent were undecided.
However, almost three-quarters of respondents said a candidate's stance on duck shooting would affect the way they voted at the next election.
Forty-two per cent said they would be more inclined to vote for a candidate who supported a ban. Roughly 32 per cent said they would be less likely to show support at the ballot box.
Almost half of the survey's respondents said they would feel less favourably towards their local member if they knew they strongly supported duck shooting, while over a quarter would feel more favourably.
However, more than 62 per cent of participating constituents said they wanted politicians to take greater action on animal welfare.
Regional Victorians Opposed to Duck Shooting spokesperson Kerrie Allen said the survey dispelled any myth that there wasn't support in the country to ban duck shooting.
"The majority of Victorians, no matter where they are, want the Victorian government to act urgently to protect our native waterbirds - many species unique to our country," Ms Allen said.
"Bendigo East is no different."
She called on the Victorian government to follow the example of other states.
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