Stand up for human rights
Tomorrow, Thursday, 10 December is the International Day of Human Rights.
As humans we all have rights.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the most translated document in the world, the majority of us take these rights for granted, perhaps are not even aware these rights aren't universal, not even here in Australia.
This year, let's ask ourselves if we Australians really do respect the rights of others.
Let's ask why we allow many thousands of people in our own country -
. to be imprisoned for long years without trial
. to be homeless, hungry, live in poverty
. to be "less" than others
. to have less than others
In 2020, in this unprecedented year, let us all 'Stand Up for Human Rights'.
This Thursday, let's pause and ask what each of us can do close to home, to help ensure our government delivers human rights for all.
Jan Govett, Convener, Amnesty International - Bendigo
Duck shooting queries
George Wyatt (Thursday, December 3) downplays the suffering of wounded waterbirds by referring to a fifty-year-old investigation of pellets embedded in ducks.
However, CSIRO concluded that the study was largely futile because it examined birds "whose source, and previous exposure to shooting, is generally unknown".
Although some birds survive with embedded pellets, all suffer pain when struck and many endure disability and slow death.
Victoria's shooter-accuracy training program is floundering.
The Game Management Authority's Pegasus report noted low participation: only 60 of the state's 26,000 licensed duck shooters completed the training in 2016.
Although it claimed experienced shooters can cut wounding rates to five per cent after a week's intensive training, even that rate would wound some 20,000 waterbirds in an average year.
The Health Department survey mentioned by Mr Wyatt acknowledged that if hunting and shooting were (hypothetically) prohibited, the expenditure would shift to other goods and services, so the net economic benefit from hunting and shooting is modest.
In 2012 an Australia Institute report found "while duck hunters may inject some funds into some regional economies they also deter other tourists" and that will "offset any benefit that their expenditure may have brought".
Other economic costs of duck shooting include gunshot noise disruption to regional families, their animals and businesses, illegal slaughter of protected and threatened waterbirds, trespass, vandalism, littering and the meat industry jobs lost as some 400,000 wild ducks are consumed each year.
Pat Smith, Doncaster
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