I would like to address the birding community about what I think is the most
important issue in birdwatching in Victoria. Why is there such reluctance to
help with the campaign to end recreational shooting of ducks?
This year, there were three meetings held by the Coalition Against Duck
Shooting to brief people about what to expect. No one from the birding
community attended. That is, of course, everyone's choice. But how can people
know they don't want to go to opening morning if they don't know anything about
Imagine if people were getting their thrills by poisoning or trapping ducks.
There'd be an uproar.
Yet duck shooters do exactly that - kill birds, legally, sanctioned by the
government. And one in four birds is wounded, dying hours or days later of its
Sometimes, bad laws must be challenged, which is what the Coalition Against
Duck Shooting does.
Of all the people I'd expect to see lining up to silently witness the
slaughter, birders are ... absent. Can people really imagine they can afford to
Perhaps you are worried about safety issues, or legal issues. The fact is, you
can't be charged if you obey the law and stay well clear of hunters. This
lessens the chances of an accident as well.
This year more than ever, with the Department of Primary Industries running the
season (read the National Party) we need people on the wetlands on opening
morning to show our united front against the barbarity of duck shooting. It's
not too late to register and come along.
Last year, there were around 400 hunters at the opening morning wetlands site
and 150 rescuers. Wouldn't it be fantastic to match that number or even better
it? Our wetlands are wonderful and should be used for ecotourism, not as
killing fields for the entertainment of a a few thousand.
As the quote says, 'All it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do
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