Calls for immediate shut down due to uncontrollable lawlessness and health risks
Not even a week since Victoria’s recreational bird shoot started and not even covid restrictions have prevented lawlessness and cruelty.
Shocking pictures on social media show the close proximity of men in army fatigues with guns, to built up areas.
Photo courtesy Geelong Duck Rescue
Reports have been made by residents to the regulator about illegal shooting – gunfire well before allowable shooting time- with the regulator’s response (24 hours later) requesting more information to help them identify the perpetrator.
This happens every shooting season. Not only are regional families having to live with this carnage happening on their doorsteps, but they also have to put themselves in harm’s way to collect evidence for the regulator to do it's job.
Elsewhere, a complaint was made that shooters were flouting covid restrictions with the alarming outcome that the police did not know the covid rules and nothing was done.
And elsewhere residents complained that groups of men had setup camp within 30 meters of farm houses on the river, their gunfire shattering the peace early morning. “How can this (shooting waterbirds) be a good use of environmental water?” (And that environmental water was paid for by taxpayers, most of whom oppose bird shooting).
And elsewhere, appalling cruelty appears to have been captured on video of a shooter trying to hide from cameras as he fed pieces of a live bird to his dog.
Warning - distressing footage
It is abundantly clear this pastime is unable to be controlled and poses a serious risk to our native birdlife and rural communities. As reported in the Herald Sun 1/6/21, why shooting native birds was ever allowed to proceed during covid when golf isn’t – is beyond us. Now we have lawless folk with guns around the state and bands of rescuers having to follow them. It’s unnecessary and dangerous when an ugly variant of fast spreading virus is breathing down our necks.
The above reports come after last week’s reports of high lead levels in ducks– above food guidelines –at Hearts Morass and Macleods Morass in Gippsland. It is likely the ducks have moved around to other wetlands since. EPA has never issued a public warning about this despite there being zero safe levels of lead in a person’s blood and shooters likely taking these ducks home to "feed the family".
Quotes by RVOTDS:
“We have over 330 COVID exposure sites in our state and police don’t have the resources to set up a ring of steel, but they’re expected to police recreational bird shooters? Victoria is a basket case right now and is it any wonder? Time for accountability. That starts with saying no - like other states have - to a minority group who like to shoot birds for fun.”
“The regulator is still unable to provide accurate maps of where shooting is / is not allowed. It has also failed to list wetland closures on its website. How are shooters supposed to know where they can shoot let alone how are the public meant to know where to avoid? "
“Regional families have been totally forsaken on this issue year after year. We believe compensation is due given all the long days, weeks and months we’ve had to put up with this madness in our backyards every year with no consideration by policy makers.”