Anti-hunting groups using media to 'push their agenda'
With the Coalition Against Duck Shooting on the back foot after a great season opener and continued good behaviour. They have resorted to chopping up videos to fit their agenda. Their only aim is to paint duck hunters in a bad light. With this in mind hunters must remain diligent ensuring they are abiding by all laws to the letter.
Last month they presented footage to the ABC that appeared to show a group of hunters using the watercraft to push ducks into the sky.
The GMA said it had taken possession of the airboat featured in the video taken at Cundare Pool, an open waterway beside Lake Corangamite, west of Geelong.
"The boat was allegedly used in contravention of the Wildlife Act 1975," the GMA said in a statement on its Facebook page.
The website states that hunting duck "from a motor boat with the boat running [whether it is in gear or not] on open water such as lakes, dams or swamps" is specifically prohibited.
The Hunting Development Manager for the Sporting Shooters Association in Victoria, David Laird, said it was critical that due process was followed in the course of the investigation.
"The video that was put up [on the ABC website] was obviously edited. It's very easy to take things out of context," Mr Laird said.
He said he was concerned claims being made by activists were being picked up without enough questioning.
"Our association is totally opposed to illegal and inappropriate behaviour when hunting, but we just need to be careful the anti-duck hunting groups aren't just pushing their agenda and using the media to do that.
"If people have done the wrong thing, report on it, condemn the actions of those individuals.
"But I don't think the hunting sector should be castigated and vilified over the actions of certain individuals, which certainly seems to be what happens on a regular basis."
Coalition Against Duck Shooting campaign director, Laurie Levy, said rescuers had given statements and evidence to the Game Management Authority in good faith.
"If they didn't believe what we were saying, I doubt very much whether they would've confiscated the airboat at this point in time," Mr Levy said.
Mr Levy said raw footage had been provided to the Authority that had been taken by three separate activists.
"I would say this will be going to court, and we'll be happy to test our argument and our video [there]."