We are just one step away from finally banning this inhumane “sport” in Victoria, which would bring our state in line with bans in Western Australia (1990), New South Wales (1995) and Queensland (2005).
For background, shooters regularly exceed bag limits and inhumanely kill the birds – in just one recent case in 2022, a shooter hit a native water bird and simply stuffed them into their bag while clearly still alive.
The wetlands should be havens for wild birds, not killing fields where they are slaughtered for fun.
There has never been a more important time than right now to let the Victorian Government know that we need to finally put an end to this bloodsport. Please see our campaign timeline then scroll down to take action for ducks now.
An ALV rescue team was part of a group of around 12 rescuers who took part in the first duck rescue, working closely with tireless wetland campaigner Laurie Levy as part of the Coalition Against Duck Shooting. Pictured here are ALV founder Patty Mark and Vice President Matthew Perry, holding protected coots who had just been blasted out of the sky.
Report on the first duck rescue opening, from Animal Liberation Magazine, April-June 1986.
Prior to the 1987 Duck Opening we prepared a 30 page submission opposing duck hunting to the Senate Select Inquiry into Animal Welfare and every State Minister for Conservation (Summary of 1987 Duck Shooting Submission). We naively believed an end to duck shooting was in sight. Thirty years later the numbers of duck hunters have dropped significantly, and duck shooting has been banned in several states, but we are still fighting.
Some of the dead birds gathered after the 1987 duck season opening, including rare freckled ducks.
Report on the 1988 duck season by Patty Mark in Animal Liberation Magazine
Duck rescue started in Victoria in 1986 and the campaign has since then gathered momentum around Australia and across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand.
“There is widespread opposition throughout the community to the cruelty and environmental damage caused by shooters… Evidence from previous [WA] seasons shows that injured ducks have been left to die, protected species have been shot, and fragile wetlands have been polluted by lead and cartridges. Our community has reached a stage of enlightenment where it can no longer accept the institutionalised killing of native birds for recreation.”
—Dr Carmen Lawrence, Premier (ALP)
“100,000 shooters were on Victorian wetlands for Duck Opening in 1986 and only 11,000 in 1993. Duck shooting is a dying activity” – Laurie Levy
The NSW Government, under Premier Bob Carr (ALP) bans recreational duck shooting.
Photos by Julia Anthonis from the 1998 duck season opening.
Some of the carnage from the 2006 duck opening, including a rare freckled duck and a ‘game’ bird abandoned by shooters dying in a rescuers arms
“There will be no more duck and quail hunting in Queensland … It’s time to ban the recreational shooting of ducks and quail. This is not an appropriate activity in contemporary life in the Smart State.”
– Peter Beattie, Premier
Rescuers help police by dismantling illegally constructed hunting ‘hides’
The ALV rescue team out on the wetlands at the 2009 duck season opening.
Hunters sometimes leave behind dead and dying birds on the wetlands, so that they can shoot more birds without going over their bag limit. We found one of the birds pictured here with a large bloody headwound, when we tried to get the duck to veterinary care the bird swam into reeds where we were unable to recover them, and where they likely died a slow painful death.
A hunter at the opening of the 2013 duck season displays the severed head of a pink-eared duck who had just been blasted out of the sky. Another hunter had fired three times at the wounded bird on the water before picking him up and twisting his head off.
Also pictured are pink-eared ducks on the wetlands during opening weekend. Photos: Mick Connolly
Hunters often talk about how much respect they have for the animals they kill. This is nothing but a cruel joke. They routinely make a mockery of their victims, often just to taunt rescuers. And there is nothing respectful about hiding in bushes and killing defenceless animals.
Police were called to a Lismore lake by duck hunters who feared a confrontation with protesters on the weekend.
“Most departed from the lake not having shot a duck. I’m sure the ALV members considered it a successful day.” – Sergeant Laxton
Animal Justice Party Senator Andy Meddick introduced a bill into parliament to permanently ban duck shooting in Victoria. While this is being considered it is crucial to let your Ministers know you support the ban.
The Victorian Government announced a 2020 duck shooting season. This inexcusable decision to green-light the cruel slaughter of waterbirds came at a critical time for wildlife, in the wake of drought, bushfires and already declining populations. Wetlands should be havens for wild birds recovering from the fires, not killing fields where they are slaughtered for fun.
Coalition Against Duck Shooting members discovered 23 dead birds buried in a pit on the opening weekend of the duck hunting season. Shooters have exceeded bag limits and inhumanely dispatched birds – in one documented case, a shooter hit a native water bird and simply stuffed them into their bag while clearly still alive.
Hunting season continues March 16 – June 13.
The Select Committee on Victoria’s Native Bird Hunting Arrangements has recommended a permanent ban on recreational duck and quail shooting on public and private land from 2024.
From March to August this year, more than 10,000 submissions were received by the Committee – breaking the record for the largest ever in Victorian parliament history, demonstrating the strong community sentiment in support of a ban, and the obligation for the Victorian Government to act immediately.
Please urge your local MP to support the ban (see below).
Write to your local MP to urge them to to support immediate action to end duck shooting now.
Find your local MP
Find your local MP at the link above and contact them by district and region.
Or use AJP’s easy template (it finds your local MP for you)
Tag 5 friends on social media and ask them to do the same!
eg. Please visit www.alv.org.au/ducks to take immediate action for the ducks