We believe many people will be asking themselves if our Ministers - who took an oath to serve ALL Victorians - are negligent, at the detriment of our desperately struggling ecosystems, rural economies and public health and safety.
We have written to the Ministers to ask them why they have not yet banned duck shooting like other states, and have instead allowed another three month one sided massacre of our Native Waterbirds despite the following facts;
Less than 0.004% Victorians still shoot our birds, yet millions of taxpayers money is spent in support of them and they are given exclusive use of public land for 25% of the year.
Duck shooting has been recently proven, by independent economists, to bring no economic benefit to our rural towns. In fact it is likely financially detrimental.
Duck shooting has been proven to be extremely cruel, with at least 1 in 4 birds suffering a protracted and excruciating death. This is why RSPCA, Animal Welfare Advisory Committees and Vets condemn the practise.
Local residents have complained about the incessant noise of gunfire as the area is turned into a war zone dawn to dusk, every day for three months each year.
Residents and other community members have also raised continual concerns around safety, as groups of shooters continue to camp illegally on the foreshores drinking and shooting at anything at all hours. We have asked the Minister to outline exactly how many authorised police will be present at each of the hundreds of lakes where shooting will occur but have not been furnished with an anserr.
There are strong concerns held about lead levels in the waterbeds and fish which people catch to eat, given decades of shooting with lead pellets having taken place at these lakes. Even a small amount of lead can irreparably damage a child's brain. We understand no testing has taken place and this is a serious concern for public health.
Recent comprehensive and independent scientific research states that the number of native waterbirds along Eastern Australia is critically low, with game bird species low "by order of magnitude". (Centre for ecosystem science, University NSW). To allow a shooting fest will decimate their numbers and the unique and endangered species trying to survive at our wetlands.
Why is the Minister heeding advice from a body committed to hunting, as opposed to independent experts in the fields of animal welfare, ecoscience or economics, particularly given so much at stake?
We will update you if/when a response is received.