Duck shooting #2

Subject: Duck shooting #2
From: Merrilyn Serong <>
Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2012 13:29:20 +1000
Hi Debbie,
Thank you for keeping us up to date on this important issue.
Good to hear that the magistrate showed such common sense.

On 10/06/2012 1:10 PM, Debbie Lustig wrote:
More on the judgement in the recent trial of the 'Kerang Five', handed down on 
Thursday. Five rescuers were charged on the closing day of last year's season 
with various offences including 'operating noise producing equipment, being a 
whistle, in a manner likely to cause unreasonable inconvenience or nuisance to 
any person contrary to the Wildlife (SGR) Regulations 2004'.
Bright clothing is worn, whistles are blown and flags waved to divert ducks.
Each of the five rescuers was found guilty of only one of their five charges - 
hindering hunters or blowing whistles. All charges of harrassing hunters were 
not proven.  Magistrate Peter Mealy awarded $18,000 court costs against the 
Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE), with the Department of 
Primary Industries (DPI) prosecuting, because of the heavy-handedness of DSE 
wildlife officers in arresting rescuers. He criticised the wildlife officers 
for continuing to question a rescuer with mild hypothermia before allowing her 
to seek help.
He said that it is legal for rescuers to be on the water.
He expressed surprise that the Department did not provide care for injured 
birds at the wetlands and indicated that it appeared to hold rescuers 
responsible for the provision of vets, when the Department should be 
responsible for the welfare of wildlife.  No rescuers were convicted or fined. 
All accepted three-month good behaviour bonds.
The DSE no longer administers the duck hunt - this is done by DPI - but its 
wildlife officers were again on duty at this year's opening weekend.

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