Hunters are seeing red after the Game Management Authority announced a heavily reduced duck season contrary to hunter expectations after a bumper duck breeding season.
The decision has been described as purely political with no science just political pandering driving the token season. Hunters are calling on their representative bodies to file Freedom of Information requests to highlight where and how these decisions are being dreamt up from.
After the announcement, GMA was flooded with messages of disgust. It appears that the GMA has lost every shred of hunter support as they repeatedly fail the hunters they are supposed to be representing. The Authorities political interests are in question and hunters want answers.
It's not just hunters that miss out; Regional Victoria will again miss a piece of the $356 million pie that hunters annually spend across Victoria.
The Animal Justice Party has been continually sighted as a pressure point for political decisions being thrust upon hunters restricting their way of life.
The RSPCA Victoria has also shown its head stating it's disappointed the Victorian Government has announced a 2021 duck hunting season and is urging it to review its decision due to animal welfare concerns, declining waterbird abundance, and a lack of support within the community.
RSPCA Australia is opposed to the recreational hunting of any animal for sport due to the inherent and unnecessary injury, pain, suffering, distress or death to the animals involved.
"We acknowledge that duck hunting is currently lawful, so while it continues, RSPCA Victoria strongly recommends implementing interventions to reduce the wounding rate, improve hunter education on issues such as humanely dispatching downed ducks, making the Shotgunning Education Program mandatory and the introduction of an annual waterfowl identification test to reduce the negative welfare impacts for ducks and off-target species," said Dr Walker.
It is paramount that all hunters alike get behind this fight. Insist that your hunting bodies and organisations question and join the fight for all hunting disciplines across Australia. The noose is tightening on all forms and this is a glimpse of the future ahead if we do not unite to protect our way of life.
Write to the Minister
The VDHA Secretary Jay Scicluna has shared a templated letter that can be sent to the minister.
On Saturday we posted a link to a sub-website we created asking for you write to the Minister of Agriculture.
In less than 48 hours hunters sent 1,215 emails to Mary-Anne Thomas MP and called for her to initiate a review of the GMA and the 2021 Duck Season Considerations process and to revert back to the legislated season of 10 birds and 12 weeks.
The Animal Justice Party who had set up a similar sub-website asking for their supporters to write to the Minister but to ban duck hunting and generated just over 1000 emails to the Minister over several weeks.
Yet our email campaign was so successful that within 48 hours we MATCHED and SURPASSED the AJP's email campaign.
The AJP clearly concerned by us petitioned and complained to the Website Host Developer "DO GOODER" to pull our website down. They succeeded.
We will have another link up hopefully by the end of the day but in the meantime, please continue to write to the Minister
Mary-Anne Thomas MP. I have provided everything you need at the bottom of this post.
Email address and template below: email@example.com
Dear Mary-Anne Thomas MP,
On Saturday the 6th of Feb 2021 the Game Management Authority "sneakily" announced a highly modified 2021 Duck Hunting Season via Facebook.
I am writing to you because the Victorian Duck Hunters Association (VDHA), along with the FGA, SSAA, provided scientific evidence to support a full bag and full duck hunting Season.
Instead the GMA announced:
2 Bird daily bag limit;
20 Day season;
Blue Winged Shoveler excluded from daily bag;
Grey Teal and Chestnut Teal to be excluded from the daily bag in some parts of the State.
This goes against the science and the data collected by hunting organisations and stakeholders and is a slap in the face of law abiding hunters and regional Victorians who have suffered under the Covid-19 restrictions.
I am asking you to initiate an enquiry into the GMA and their handling of the 2021 Duck Season Considerations Meeting with Stake Holders and for you to dismiss the GMA's recommendations and announce a full bag and a full season as set out in legislation.
Duck & Quail Hunting brought in a combined $87 Million dollars in 2019 and that is why it is important that we promote hunter participation by announcing a full bag and season.
Minister, Duck hunting is not a sport, it is a Tradition! A tradition passed on from generation to generation and for many it is deeply entrenched in culture and beliefs. Please help us preserve our tradition.
I look forward to your response.
[Your contact details]
Rural Lives Matter.
My open letter to our Agriculture Minister.
Country Victoria misses out once again, why wont this Victorian Labor Government let rural and regional Victoria benefit from millions upon millions of dollars generated by Duck Hunting tourism?
The Andrew’s Government proves again the lives of tens of thousands of Victorian’s do not matter, as they dismiss the mental and physical health of the Victorian Duck Hunting community.
Why are we continuously discriminated against?
This has been death by one thousand lashes.
These constant calculated, predetermined, premeditated decisions are knowingly made to deter the hunting community from taking part.
Do we have an Agricultural Minister?
Mary-Anne, we are very upset, we are very disappointed and we want some answers.
The biggest loser is Rural Victoria.
Duck Hunting is an integral part of our society.
Hunters are a community of people, whom continue to be subjected to on going harassment, bullying and neglect.
Mary-Anne, you are our so-called Agriculture Minister the Minister responsible for the well-being and lives of millions in rural Victoria.
We want answers, we want transparency and we want fairness.
We want you to amend and re-announce the Victorian Duck Hunting season to what it should be, a full 12weeks and a 10 bird bag limit per day.
We look forward to your immediate response, rectification and ratification.
Thank You and Kind Regards,
Dan Straub ( President, Victorian Duck Hunting Association )
The reduced season details
2021 Victoria duck hunting season arrangements
Season opens – Wednesday 26 May 2021
Season closes – 30 mins after sunset, Monday 14 June 2021
Start times from Wednesday 26 May – Sunday 30 May, inclusive:
Hunting times for the rest of the season:
Half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset
Two game ducks per day
Game duck species permitted to be taken in 2021:
Seven of the eight species of game duck can be
hunted during 2021. The game duck species that can be hunted are:
- Pacific Black Duck
- Chestnut Teal (south of Princes Highway/Freeway only)
- Grey Teal (south of Princes Highway/Freeway only)
- Australian Shelduck
- Pink-eared Duck
- Australian Wood Duck
Game duck species prohibited from being hunted in 2021:
Chestnut Teal (north of Princes
Grey Teal (north of Princes Highway/Freeway only)
Immediately retrieve all downed game ducks and salvage at least the breast meat of harvested ducks.
Media contact: Nick Foster T: 03 8392 2237 | M: 0417 293 365