By deliberately referring to the legitimate practise of duck hunting as “duck killing” and “slaughter”, two Victorian Federal MPs have demonstrated there is a fine line between being a leader guided by evidence and an ignorant follower of an emotionally-charged cause.
As the regulated and scientifically sustainable duck hunting seasons open in South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria this month and licensed firearm owners who have passed the relevant waterfowl identification tests head to the wetlands to partake in this legal activity, activist groups have trotted out the usual attacks to vilify and marginalise our members and fellow hunters. This time, animal liberation group Animals Australia has recruited the likes of two Federal Labor MPs, Victorian Kelvin Thomson and Western Australian Melissa Parke, to join in the fight to “#BanDuckShooting” claiming that “50,000 ducks ‘recreationally’ shot left injured to slowly die. This isn’t ‘sport’ - it’s cruelty”.
“Continuing to allow this senseless and unnecessary slaughter in the name of sport is completely at odds with my personal values as well as those of the vast majority of Victorians,” Mr Thomson told his local paper. “The sports that we cherish as Victorians such as AFL and cricket are because two sides face off in an honourable contest with an equal chance of victory. There is nothing honourable about shooting defenceless birds out of the sky.”
Ms Parke took to Twitter saying, “Victoria prides itself on culture but still allows duck shooting for fun?! Banned in WA in 1990”, completely ignoring the fact that WA has Australia’s longest duck hunting open season from January 1 to June 30 each year with the season allowing the taking of wood duck and mountain duck on private lands in the South-west Land Division and Eucla Division regions.
“Such deliberate misuse of words and labelling the legal and regulated hunting of a legitimate game species as “slaughter” demonstrates just how out of touch and easily led some of our politicians are,” said SSAA National Hunting Officer Matthew Godson. “Furthermore, shooting has been proven as a humane method of culling pest animals by the RSPCA, so it is interesting that the likes of Animals Australia seem to be at odds with this.”
While Mr Thomson and Ms Parke are not running for re-election this year, the SSAA Legislative Action (SSAA-LA) department will continue to assess the comments of our parliamentarians when it comes to our chosen pastime and will inform our 176,000 members and Australia’s 800,000 licensed firearm owners as they head to the ballot box later this year.
In the meantime, let us know if you are going duck or quail hunting this season.