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What state is Victoria in?




Australia's rarest native duck, thought to be one of the world's rarest, collateral damage in Victoria's recreational bird shoots.


Economic Opportunity

In the first year birdwatching data was collected, tourists who bird-watched bestowed over $2.88 billion on Australia's economy.

Latest data by Tourism Research Australia shows outdoor nature activities continue to be far more popular, generating higher economic returns, than outdoor sport activities. QLD & NSW enjoy stronger economic returns from the lucrative overnight domestic nature tourism market, than Victoria does. Studies show shooting deters tourists. See our article at the end of this newsletter, which was published in Castlemaine Mail & Latrobe Valley Express.


Regional Victorians overwhelmingly support a ban.

As shown repeatedly in professional polls including UComms 2021, most regional Victorians want bird shooting banned. This short video shows some of what they said in our 2018 online survey. More videos, survey and petition comments sent to the regulator can be seen here and here.

The Andrews government has committed to keeping Victorians safe, and to better standards of animal welfare. When unmonitored shooting occurs from before sunrise at so many thousands of public waterways (often near people's homes) they can't possibly be monitored, when up to 40% of the hundreds of thousands of birds hit in duck shooting each year in Victoria are injured and not killed, it's clear duck shooting needs to be be banned in our state.


Submissions Closed for 2023 Victorian Recreational Bird Shoots RVOTDS spent Christmas / New Year compiling a 20 page submission for the Game Management Authority (GMA). We thank our supporting partners: Humane Society International, Goulburn Valley Environment Group, Hamilton Field Naturalists' Club, Venus Bay Eco Retreat, Susan Kerr Travel and Murray River Adventure Tours, for their excellent contributions to our submission. In it we called for the 2023 recreational duck and quail shoots to be cancelled, based on alarming continued declines in the birds' populations, lack of breeding despite two consecutive La Ninas, and significant adverse impacts of hunting on protected species and regional communities not yet adequately investigated by the hunting regulator. Our submission gave detailed examples of these impacts: tables obtained through Freedom of Information showing thousands of threatened species killed as collateral damage, tourism operators’ concerns for customers’ safety and economic loss, landowners’ fears for their families, of trespass and the risk of spread of Foot and Mouth Disease. A copy of the submission was also sent to Premier Andrews and Minister Plibersek.


The Science is Clear

The East Australian Aerial Waterbird Survey (EAAWS) managed by Professor Kingsford of University NSW is the largest wildlife survey in Australia and the only long-term scientifically robust data we have, to monitor important trends in water birds.

The 40th Annual EAAWS just completed, reported unambiguously, that game duck populations continue to be well below long-term average, in many cases “by order of magnitude”(point 14, page 3 of the Summary report). Some species - such as the Pink-eared duck, Hardhead and Grey Teal - declined even further from last year’s survey which in turn saw a shocking 58% decline in game ducks from the year before.

The latest survey also reported, that despite two consecutive La Ninas, ducks are not breeding (point 13, on page 3 of the Summary Report).

It is extremely disappointing that hunt clubs which have obtained hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars for "conservation", are calling for a full-blown shoot despite clear and unambiguous science showing alarming population data for ducks and quail.


Long-term independent science shows alarming population trends.

Fig 1. "Game" duck abundance trends 1983 - 2022. Data source: EAAWS


Fig 2. Native Stubble Quail harvests 1911 - 2021. Government data (GMA / RIS)

"Harvest data is a strong indication of population" - Arthur Rylah Institute 2022



VCAT Hearing Update

The Game Management Authority has still not released key documents regarding its shock call to double the kill rate in 2021, despite the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) ruling it should.

Together with our wonderful barrister Mr Angel Aleksov, two of our members attended a Directions Hearing recently in regards to the process for the upcoming VCAT hearing which GMA have called in their fight to appeal the order from OVIC.

This will be a lengthy process - but one we will not drop. Victorians deserve to know what is driving decisions to kill our native wildlife when the science shows it needs protection.

We will also be seeking details of how much taxpayer money the "independent" hunting regulator is spending on fighting OVIC's ruling to release these documents which have been deemed to be in the public interest.

Can you help fund our legal fight?


In The News It's been a very busy few weeks with numerous articles running around the country. Some below. RVOTDS greatly appreciates the media representing regional Victorians' stories.

And who could have missed this excellent article in Herald Sun when RSPCA calls it out?


Letters to Editors around the country have been brilliant. Two of our faves below:


Victoria deserves better, and we won't give up until we have it.

For our beautiful birds who cannot speak for themselves, and the communities who love being home to them, thank you for your ongoing support.



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