Duck Hunting Under Attack Before GMA Season Announcement
Fake news is all we can expect these days, and when it involves ducks and duck hunting, we see more than our fair share of it.
The ABC's latest article titled "Calls for Victorian duck hunting ban take off after survey finds most hunters fail bird identification test" delivers twisted facts that are well off the mark to fit an agenda.
The article opens with "A study of Victorian duck shooters has found that only one in five were able to correctly answer questions about identifying protected bird species, raising pressure on Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to ban duck hunting ahead of the 2021 season".
The opening paragraph is extremely contradictory to the requirement on duck hunters to hold a valid licence. Victorian duck hunters must pass a Waterfowl Identification Test (WIT) before they even set foot into any wetland to hunt ducks. You can not hunt a duck until you pass the test with a mark higher than 85% full stop.
The timing of these articles is no mistake as the Victorian Game Management Authority (GMA), the independent hunting
regulator, will soon give its recommendations to the State Government about how the 2021 season should operate.
The ABC went with the following to paragraphs to complete the desired picture for the readers. "Late last year, the GMA released the results of a survey that quizzed roughly 5,300 hunters in the state about hunting rules".
"Duck shooters performed the worst, with just 20 per cent able to correctly answer questions about bird identification".
"Campaigners say the practice should be outlawed, especially in light of those findings".
"It tells both the Government and the Victorian public that duck shooters cannot even do the single basic thing that they claim they are out there to do,'' said Animal Justice Party MP Andy Meddick.
"How can you possibly continue to have a duck shooting season, let alone say that duck shooting should continue to survive in Victoria based on that."
The GMA said that all shooters must score 85 per cent or higher to pass the Waterfowl Identification Test before they are allowed to hunt.
The high failure rate for the December survey would inform future education materials, it said.
In recent years, the GMA has been repeatedly accused of failing to investigate and enforce duck shooting breaches.
In 2018, an internal report found it was "widely perceived" by both shooters and its own staff "to be unable to police [hunting laws] properly or to punish those who break them".
At the time, the GMA said it took the findings very seriously.
Know The Enemy
Animal Justice Party says the advice looked at the national increase in bird population rather than the decrease in Victoria.
"The GMA authority either deliberately misled or lied by omission to the previous agriculture minister in making recommendations about last year's duck hunting season,'' Mr Meddick said.
Brighton MP James Newbury used his maiden speech in 2018 to call for an end to duck hunting. He said if the Government
allowed the season to go ahead this year it would be the same as "handing out free cartridges".
"My community thinks duck hunting is barbaric and I'd say modern Victoria thinks the same,'' Mr Newbury said.
"It's absolutely time to understand that modern Victoria expects something different."
At Labor's 2019 state conference, MPs Lizzie Blandthorn and Steve McGhie co-sponsored a successful motion calling for a review of the sport.
"Unfortunately, that review has not been conducted, maybe due to the coronavirus pandemic," said Mr McGhie.
"We are fast approaching another duck hunting season and I think that review should be conducted ASAP."
Be sure to make your complaints clear and concise to the ABC whilst they continue to share stories of this nature. See the complete article here.