Time to take aim at the State Government

The RSPCA is deeply distressed that the Tasmanian Government continues to ignore public opinion by giving the green light for another season of duck shooting.

Today, March 9, marks the start of the 2024 duck shooting season. Shooters will each be allowed to kill 10 ducks per day, every day for twelve weeks, until June 10th.

Perhaps most shocking of all? This cruelty is inflicted upon defenceless animals in the name of a ‘sport’ that the majority of caring Tasmanians oppose.

“This is a dark day for wildlife in this State. Tasmanians should take aim at the State Government for once again allowing thousands of native birds to be shot out of the sky,” RSPCA Chief Advocate Jan Davis said.

“While many birds will be killed instantly as they flee for their lives, others will be maimed and endure a slow and painful death.”

“The RSPCA is not opposed to killing animals by methods that guarantee a quick, humane death. However, no amount of tweaking to duck shooting practices can magically transform the indiscriminate shot-gunning of native birds in flight into a humane method of killing.”

In recommending that native bird hunting should end, a recent Victorian Government Inquiry described compliance monitoring as a ‘near impossible task’. Tasmania has significantly fewer regulatory resources than Victoria. This means that, in practice, there is virtually no oversight of shooters or policing of regulations and licence conditions. The fact that, to the best of our understanding, in the ten years 2011 to 2021 only 2 people were convicted on offences related to wild duck confirms this. It is therefore inevitable that incidents of non-compliance occur across the season but are not detected due to the nature of the activity and the many remote locations where it occurs.

Ms Davis said the decision to allow the duck shooting season to go ahead simply doesn’t add up.

“Our regular community sentiment survey shows that 63% of Tasmanians do not support duck shooting, with 22% of people having a neutral view – that’s 85% of people who would welcome (or at least not oppose) an end to duck shooting in this state. Only 5% of people have ever been involved in shooting ducks – and last year there were just 1044 licences issued (less than 0.2% of the population). Yet the Government is prepared to ignore widespread concerns that this is unacceptable.”

“The only way to ensure the welfare of these animals is to ban this cruel practice,” Ms Davis said.

“Whoever forms our next Government needs to listen and end the carnage. It has no place in a civilised society.

Jan Davis, Chief Advocate – RSPCA Tasmania
Mobile: 0409 004 228
Email: jdavis@rspcatas.org.au

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