The state of Victoria has announced a short season and a low bag limit for ducks. Local duck shooters are furious and say that, following the wettest summer for a decade and a record wildlife breeding season, the government is acting on ideological grounds, not on science.
The law says duckshooters can take ten birds per day for a 12-week season per year. This year, following pressure by the Animal Justice Party (AJP) and the RSCPA, Victoria’s Game Management Authority (GMA) rules the limit is two birds a day for three weeks.
There is no weekend opening, which many duck shooters look forward to. Instead, the season opens on a Wednesday. And duckshooting has to take place after 8am.
“We’ve got animal extremists infiltrating this government,” says angry duckhunter Rob Fickling, from BeyondTheDivide.com.au.
Field & Game Australia says the announcement was made on a Saturday for the first time in an attempt to bury bad news.
“This announcement is outrageous to Field & Game Australia and our members will not accept these modifications as these have not been made based on science and data, but more on appeasing those opposed to a duck season,” the organisation said in a statement.
Duckshooters see this as the latest in a long line of political moves to ‘cancel’ hunting in Australia, including restrictions on firearms sales under covid.
Duckshooters are reacting to the new rules by bombarding the minister with emails and letters. On 6 February 2021, the Victoria Duck Hunters Association (VDHA) posted a link to a website it created asking shooters to write to the Minister of Agriculture. In less than 48 hours hunters sent 1,215 emails to Mary-Anne Thomas MP and called for her to:
- initiate a review of the GMA and the 2021 ‘Duck Season Considerations’ process
- to revert to the legislated season of ten birds and 12 weeks.
The AJP set up a similar sub-website asking for their supporters to write to the minister but to ban duck hunting. It generated around 1,000 emails over several weeks. The VDHA email campaign beat that in just 48 hours.
The AJP complained to the the VDHA ‘s webhost, called DoGooder and, thanks to animal rights activists there successfully had the VDHA’s website taken down.
DoGooder CEO David Gravina posted this: