birding-aus More 2 c worth re: duckhunting

Subject: birding-aus More 2 c worth re: duckhunting
From: "Paul McDonald" <>
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 1999 16:03:52 +1100
Hi all,

I find it hard to believe arguments that justify the banning of duck shooting on the belief that it is cruel. "Nature is cruel", e.g. being eaten alive by a raptor would I imagine be much more painful and distressing than having 20 grams of buckshot pass through your lung.

This "cruel" argument has given rise to recent examples of animal activists etc influencing people/gov bodies making in my belief, the wrong choice. Others spring to mind.
1. Not shooting every deer in Royal National Park when they were easily accessible (ditto applies for brumbies elsewhere)
2. The recent fuss about a roo shooter killing a joey by stamping on its head, sure, it won't be approved by any ethical committee, but death is instantaneous. This uproar lead to a significant reduction in roo meat sales in England when Mad Cow disease should have seen sales increase and our farmers profit.

I am not an advocate of duck hunting, I simply disagree with the argument that it is cruel and should be banned. It is ecologically negative in regards to lead buckshot, disturbance and increased mortality to threatened species and this is the argument that should be used to lead to the conclusion to ban this sport. How many people cry when they run over ants, or kill a native cockroach in their house, or "clean" the microbes in their kitchen? The cute and cuddly factor obviously applies here, but the principle being advocated is the same and should apply to all organisms, did you get ethics approval to torture your lawns and allow it to look pretty?

In saying this I am not a shooter and would rather have duck season banned, but surely fishing and the above examples must also then be banned, e.g. suffocating a fish in air is not a pleasant way to die, surely. Logical arguments are needed and are more important to people such as Jeff than saying it's a bad thing that is terrible. (Remember the trumped up COrella remark?)

Back to the birds:

Saw a White-bellied Sea Eagle over Ryde Bridge and a Brown Goshawk in suburban Wiley Park, both Sydney suburbs, on the way to work. Not a bad traffic distraction.

Cheers, paul

Paul McDonald
Department of Biological Sciences
Macquarie University, Sydney NSW, 2109
Phone: (02) 9850 8191 Fax: (02) 9850 8245
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