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Duck Shooting is Animal Cruelty, Not "Way of Life"

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 5 March 2020

Tags: Native Wildlife, Environment, Animal Rights, Native Ducks, Hunting

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson

Gun shots will echo across Tasmania’s inland waterways this weekend, as native ducks are brutally blasted out of the skies in the name of ‘sport’.

Despite bans on duck hunting in New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia, this cruel, outdated activity is still permitted in Tasmania. Ducks that have been sensibly protected on the mainland will migrate to Tasmania, only to be slaughtered in their tens of thousands.

When questioned in Parliament today about why duck hunting is still approved by the government, Minister Barnett sickeningly justified the practice by saying it is part of “who we are” as a community.

That the Liberals see killing native animals as fundamental to the “Tasmanian way of life” is revolting. Such a heartless statement is offensive to the majority of Tasmanians who do not support these attacks on native animals.

The Liberals’ commitment to maintain duck shooting, backed by Labor, is a bleak reminder of both parties’ ongoing refusal to listen to scientific experts. Waterbirds in eastern Australia have been documented by scientists for years as being in significant decline.

Birdlife Tasmania has notified the Government that mainland ducks are flying to Tasmania to seek shelter from this year’s worst drought in recorded history, and from the devastation wrought by climate change-induced bushfires.

Instead of finding shelter, those birds will be live targets for the next three months. Every shooting season, ‘non-target’ as well as ‘target’ birds are wounded and die a painful and lingering death. The true numbers killed this season will never be known, as many birds perish beyond the reach of people keeping count.

Our island should be a sanctuary for wildlife. We need to follow the lead of other states and ban this inhumane and unsustainable wild duck shooting. It’s long overdue.