Bird 'massacre' in Victoria

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Bird 'massacre' in Victoria
From: Debbie Lustig <>
Date: Fri, 22 Mar 2013 15:10:57 +1100

This is the full text of last Wednesday's speech in the Victorian Upper House 
by Sue Pennicuik. Apologies if formatting doesn't work.
Duck hunting: wetland closuresMs PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- My 
adjournment matter is for the Minister for Agriculture and Food Security. I am 
very disturbed to have been informed by Mr Laurie Levy from the Coalition 
against Duck Shooting that rare and threatened freckled ducks and other 
protected non-game species were illegally shot on the opening weekend of the 
duck shooting season at the Box Flat nature conservation reserve, a wetland 
close to the town of Boort in north-western Victoria. Half the property is on 
Crown land, and the other half is on private property. I am informed that 
approximately 150 shooters were present at Box Flat last Saturday morning when 
around 2000 birds were shot. Game species took the biggest hit, with hundreds 
of pink-eared ducks falling victim. Pink-eared ducks do not leave a wetland 
when disturbed by gunshot -- they tend to fly around low over the water, making 
them an easy target for shooters.
I was horrified to hear reports that many non-game species were also shot at 
Box Flat that morning, including approximately 200 rare and threatened freckled 
ducks and several rare blue-billed ducks. Both species are protected and cannot 
legally be shot. They are easily identifiable, and the blue-billed duck rarely 
flies. Those that were killed may have been shot while on the water, which is 
illegal and highly dangerous.It was also reported that around 50 swans and 
other protected species, such as coot and possibly avocets -- all protected 
waterbirds -- and other protected non-waterbird species, including birds of 
prey, were shot. It was described as a massacre of threatened, protected and 
game species.I am also informed that after the illegal shooting became known, 
Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Department of Sustainability and 
Environment officers attended the wetlands and many of the dead protected birds 
may have been removed ahead of the investigation that DPI 
 has confirmed to Mr Levy is taking place. If that is the case, the 
investigation has been compromised, and the public may never know the truth of 
the numbers of protected species that were slaughtered that morning. Mr Levy 
was also informed that a similar incident took place last year but was hushed 
up.Licensed shooters who shoot protected species or exceed the bag limit of 
game species must be prosecuted, and it would be difficult to believe that 
people would not be prosecuted after an incident such as this.My request is 
that the minister immediately order the closure of the Box Flat nature 
conservation reserve wetland in accordance with the freckled duck action plan 
and the emergency provisions of section 86A of the Wildlife Act 1975. I also 
request that the minister instigate a survey of all wetlands where duck 
shooting is occurring or likely to occur and that he close them, including Box 
Flat conservation reserve, under section 86 of the Wildlife Act 1975 if 
freckled duc
 k and other protected species are present. I also request that the minister 
ensure that this incident be investigated thoroughly and impartially and that 
the results be released to the public.


To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU