73 Eurasian Coots; 1 Hoary-headed Grebe; 1 Whistling Kite; 3 Black Swans; 6
Freckled Ducks = 84 protected species.
8 Grey Teal; 1 Hardhead; 1 Pacific Black Duck; 1 Pink-eared Duck = 11 game
These are the birds that were displayed outside the Premier's office on
Tuesday, 21/5. You will notice that many more protected birds are being shot
and left behind than game species. Are shooters taking home their game
birds? Are there fewer game species, hence the slaughter of everything else?
It's certainly been a terrible season for the humble coot. Seventy-three
were found at one wetland last weekend; 71 a couple of weeks ago;
approximately 8 wounded coots were taken to local vets.
Observers at wetlands near Stawell saw shooters firing into groups of coots
on the water when a game bird was in their midst. Shooters were even
observed in a 'tinnie' (boat) ploughing into groups of coot. Two coots were
later found with sheared-off wings.
Eurasian Coots aren't game. Shooting into flocks is illegal. Shooting on the
water is dangerous and stupid. What more can be said?
Why are so many protected species being shot? It's blindingly obvious:
because they can be. Compliance officers number only five in the entire
state, and none have been seen on the main wetland regions since opening
In fact, on opening and closing weekends, DPI staff have to recruit from
among Parks Victoria and DSE staff, supplemented by Victoria Police. All
concentrate on fining rescuers for offences such as blowing whistles,
'hindering' hunters and the nonsense that is 'failure to despatch' wounded
Hunters stuff live birds into bags, hang live birds up on their belts, and
gut birds while still alive, but no hunter has ever been charged with an
offence under the Victorian Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
A selection of photos is on flickr:
m("N04/","//www.flickr.com/photos/94330342");">http: One photo is particularly
shocking. It shows a 'harvested' Pink-eared Duck. What little flesh there is
on this little bird has been scalped off the breast; then it's simply
If you feel so inclined, please write to Daniel Andrews, Leader of the
Opposition. We have to convince the Labor Party to change its policy on duck
shooting, and/or hope that the Greens will hold the balance of power in the
next Victorian Parliament.
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