Common Position Statement of Conservation, Animal Welfare, and Political Groups calling for a ban in Victoria on recreational shooting of native waterbirds


DATED: As at 5 February 2006


The endorsing organisations condemn the annual recreational shooting of native waterbirds on Victoria 's wetlands and call on the Victorian State Government to immediately ban the activity.

RESOLUTION:

That the Victorian State Government immediately bans the recreational shooting of native waterbirds.

The endorsing organisations recognise that:

•  The activity of duck shooting is cruel and barbaric. On cruelty grounds the Victorian State Government's own Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (AWAC) recommended a permanent ban on recreational duck shooting in 1993, 1995, 1997, 2000 and 2003.

•  Wounding rates are unacceptably high. The activity relies on the use of a shotgun, not a rifle. Birds are frequently wounded by the spray of pellets and are cruelly left to die.

•  Native waterbirds down the east coast of Australia are at their lowest since annual surveys were commenced in 1984.

•  The Victorian State Government is ignoring both the environmental and ethical issues in condoning the activity.

•  The public at large supports a ban. A statewide AC Nielsen poll conducted in 2003 showed that 70% said ‘Yes' in response to the question, ‘Should the recreational shooting of Australian native waterbirds be permanently banned?'

•  Victoria ought take a national approach on duck shooting and follow the precedents of NSW , WA and Queensland State Labor Governments in banning the activity.

•  It is disturbing that the Victorian State Government permits children from the age of 12 years to participate in this cruel and unethical activity.

•  Regions like Kerang and nearby Boort and Donald, as well as Gippsland and Geelong , and other areas throughout Victoria have diverse wetlands, over 150 species of native waterbirds and some significant indigenous heritage sites. The Victorian State Government should encourage wetlands tourism as an economic boost to regional and country Victoria , as occurred with penguins at Phillip Island and the Southern Right Whales at Warrnambool. Recreational duck shooting is clearly incompatible with wetland environmental-tourism.

ENDORSING GROUPS

CALLING FOR A BAN ON

RECREATIONAL DUCK SHOOTING IN VICTORIA

ENVIRONMENTAL

Birds Australia
Bird Observers Club of Australia
Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF)
Coalition Against Duck Shooting (CADS)
Field Naturalists Club of Victoria Inc
Friends of the Earth (FOE)
The Wilderness Society (TWS)
Environment East Gippsland (EEG)
Australian Plants Society (Vic)
Black Range Landcare Group
Blackburn & District Tree Preservation Society Inc
Croydon conservation Society
Field Naturalists Club of Bendigo Inc
Field Naturalists Club of Latrobe Valley Inc
Friends of Mallacoota
Friends of Wattle Park
Kingston Conservation and Environment Coalition
Loreto Environment group
Mallacoota Coastcare Weeding Group
Mount Evelyn Environment Protection & Progress Association Inc
People for Environmental Protection
Phillip Island Conservation Society
Protectors of Public Lands Victoria Inc
South Gippsland Conservation Society
Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO)
Port Phillip EcoCentre Inc

POLITICAL

Australian Greens Party (Victorian Branch)
Whitehorse-Maroondah Branch, Australian Greens Party
Bellarine Branch, Australian Greens Party
ALP Members Opposed to Duck (ALP MoDS)
Australian Democrats

ANIMAL WELFARE

Humane Society International (HSI)
Animals Australia Inc
Lawyers for Animals Inc
Victorian Animal Welfare Association
Help for Wildlife
Ballarat Organisation for Animal Rights Inc (BOAR)
Victorian Animal Aid Trust
Psychologists for the Promotion of Animal Welfare
Animal Liberation Victoria
Vegan Voice
National Kangaroo Protection Coalition
Wildlife Preservation
Wildlife Protection Association of Australia Inc
Wildlife Victoria Inc
Australian Wildlife Assistance Rescue and Education
Wildlife Help on Mornington Peninsula Inc
Australian Wildlife Protection Council
Voiceless – The Fund For Animals


ALP Branches that have passed Resolutions calling for a Ban

Blackburn Branch
Box Hill Branch
Broadmeadows Branch
Brunswick Branch
Burwood Branch
Canterbury Branch
Cheltenham Branch
Clayton Branch
Coburg West Branch
Collingwood Branch
Dandenong Branch
Diamond Valley Branch

Elsternwick Branch
Hawthorn Branch
Ivanhoe Branch
Malvern Branch
Mentone Branch
North Fitzroy Branch
Northcote Branch
Prahran Branch
St Kilda Branch
Strzelecki Hills Branch
Waverley West Branch
Yarraville Branch

Herald Sun

Pressure to ban duck hunting

5th December 2005

THE Victorian Government is facing pressure from within its own party to ban duck hunting.

Environment Minister John Thwaites will make a decision on the 2006 season early this month, a lobby group made up of ALP members said today, after he considers the contents of the Eastern Australia Native Bird Survey.

ALP Members Opposed to Duck Shooting spokesman Trevor Poulton said it would show the native waterbirds in hunters' sights were at their lowest population levels since surveying began in 1984.

Mr Poulton said the ALP-based lobby group had joined with more than 40 environmental, animal welfare, political and community groups to call for a total ban on the recreational pursuit.

"The fight for ending duck shooting and gaining appropriate protection of Victoria 's internationally renowned wetlands has gone beyond the normal political boundaries," Mr Poulton said today.

"The State Government is now under maximum pressure from outside the ALP and within the ALP to ban the activity, and with an election next year, Premier (Steve) Bracks is being challenged to show that the Government is in touch with public opinion."

A common position statement released by the ALP-based group is co-signed by groups including Birds Australia, Friends of the Earth, The Wilderness Society, the Australian Greens and Australian Democrats.

The document claims the hunt results in animal cruelty and environmental damage, and it says 70 per cent of Victorians support a ban.

Mr Poulton said annual duck shoots had been banned in Queensland , NSW and WA.

"Groups that have endorsed the common position statement, and members of the ALP, find it difficult to believe that a Victorian Labor government continues to blindfold itself to the fact that recreational duck shooting is barbaric and is an unethical activity," he said.

© Herald and Weekly Times

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