It’s utterly beyond my comprehension why anyone would want to kill a duck as it flies towards them, rocketing through a blue sky, beautifully and perfectly adapted to the wetlands that ‘hunters’ always say they enjoy visiting (and don’t bother using the ‘comments’ to attempt to explain – I’ve been thinking about this for a very long time now). I can understand that there is some skill in co-ordinating hand and eye to dispassionately kill a flying duck, but less so than judging light and depth of field and taking its photograph – and far less destructive of course.
Being able to do something doesn’t justify doing it in my opinion (and in the opinion of many other campaigners of course), but whether I understand it or not ‘hunters’ the world over are committed to their ‘sport’. Despite what the various Game Associations mutter about how conservation-minded they are for gallantly ‘protecting’ ducks so they can go and kill them later and how responsible their members are, in Australia many hunters are apparently oblivious to the impact on wild bird populations they have by turning up to temporary wetlands after years of drought (which had a serious impact on duck populations though fortunately there signs of recovery) and creating the sort of disturbance and noise that would have anyone else locked up by the local police…
The inspirational members of Coalition against Duck Shooting (CADS) take a very proactive stance against the anachronistic slaughter of ducks (many of them legally protected – not all hunters are the identification experts their associations would like to portray them as) and are promoting sustainable wetland eco-tourism instead. In Victoria members get into the water between the hunter and the bird, attempt to move the birds to safer locations, and set up temporary ‘field hospitals’ to give first aid to ducks that have been shot, injured and simply left to die.
Despite the majority wishes of Victorians a 2012 hunting season has been announced. As CADS scathingly puts it on their website:
- “Premier Ted Baillieu has transferred the responsibility for native waterbirds from the Department of Sustainability and Environment over to the Department of Primary Industries (with a National Party Minister). This is like having arsonists and pyromaniacs running the Country Fire Authority.” Laurie Levy Campaign Director
CADS has a petition running on The Petition Site that has had a rather muted response, but can be found at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/ban-duck-shooting-in-victoria-australia/
To view their work watch the moving and well-produced YouTube video below. The calm way they go about things in the face of heavily-armed hunters is highly inspirational.
For more information go to http://www.animalsaustralia.org/factsheets/duck_shooting.php