Western Victoria Upper House MP Andy Meddick has taken aim at the state government’s decision to proceed with a duck shooting season this year.
Mr Meddick, who represents the Animal Justice Party, said the decision was “shocking” given that much of Victoria was experiencing dry conditions. Surveys had shown waterbird numbers were incredibly low, he said.
Mr Meddick called on the state government to reconsider its decision. He said he would join duck rescue teams on the wetlands for the opening weekend and throughout the season.
“Duck shooting is not in line with community expectations around animal welfare and this decision has been made to appease the tiny minority of duck shooters who make up only .4 per cent of the Victorian population,” Mr Meddick said.
“The decision is shocking following revelations that the Game Management Authority (GMA) is incapable and unwilling to investigate hunters.
“Reduced bag limits and a shorter season will change nothing for an industry that is essentially self-regulated and morally corrupt,” he said.
The GMA said this year’s duck hunting season would be reduced from 12 to nine weeks, starting on Saturday, March 16 and closing on May 19.
The season had been shortened because of the drop in duck numbers due to the dry conditions and to ensure duck numbers remain sustainable, the GMA said.
Hunters will be restricted to four game ducks a day on the opening weekend, with a five game duck a day bag limit for the remainder of the nine week season.
The hunting of Blue-winged Shoveler will again be prohibited during the season.