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Barnett Ignores Expert Advice and Duck Shooting Cruelty

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 4 March 2021

Tags: Native Ducks, Native Wildlife, Environment

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson 

Primary Industries Minister, Guy Barnett continues his obstinate refusal to listen to the evidence when it comes to native duck shooting. 

In Question Time today, the Greens asked Minister Barnett why he continues to support a native duck shooting season despite its damaging impact on Australian duck populations and the animal welfare issues.

When confronted with the cruelty of tens of thousands of birds being shot for sport – many of which will die a prolonged, painful death – he justified it as a ‘traditional part of the Tasmanian way of life’. 

Minister Barnett’s own Departmental publication (‘Game Tracks’, 2021) says:

“Surveys in 2019 of waterbird populations and wetlands across the eastern mainland Australian States found the abundance of waterbirds to be among the lowest since counts began in 1983. Approximately half of waterbirds were found on only eleven wetlands…, the area of wetlands was the lowest since surveys began with negative impacts on duck breeding and survival . . . 

“There is considerable evidence of significant movement of ducks between drought affected mainland states and wetlands in Tasmania with the Tasmanian population being part of a much larger and interconnected eastern Australian duck population”

Minister Barnett has done nothing to address clear issues raised by his Department, nor has he taken on board the advice of scientists and bird experts.

Instead, he will allow this year’s season to go ahead without restriction. As a result, around 50,000 native ducks will be shot and killed. 

Native duck shooting is both cruel and unsustainable. It’s no wonder it’s already banned in New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia. It’s past time lutruwita/Tasmania did the same.