Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Victorian Govt takes shot at new duck hunting rules

The Victorian Government has announced that recreational duck and quail hunting will continue in the State, with important changes to ensure it remains safe, sustainable and responsible.

The Government today announced its response to Parliament’s Inquiry into Victoria’s recreational native bird hunting arrangements – confirming its position has not changed, and recreational duck and quail hunting will continue with common-sense changes.

“Duck hunting is a legitimate activity – but more than that, it supports regional communities and economies,” said Minister for Outdoor Recreation, Steve Dimopoulos.

“Our position has not changed and we’re supporting recreational duck and quail hunting to continue in a safe, sustainable and responsible way with minimal harm to our environment.”

“We thank everyone who contributed to the Inquiry – the process was about listening to different perspectives, and that’s exactly what we’ve done.”

The Government says it will accept seven of the Select Committee’s eight recommendations in full or in principle. While the Committee did not reach consensus in its report, the views of more than 10,000 Victorians and organisations were heard in the biggest response to a Parliamentary inquiry ever in Victoria, the Minister said.

“Recreational duck and quail hunting is a legitimate activity, and it matters to thousands of Victorians who love the great outdoors, but it needs to proceed safely and sustainably,” he said.

“That’s why we’re introducing common-sense changes to make hunting even more responsible from 2025.”

The changes include:

  • Improving hunters’ knowledge and skill by making education and training for hunters mandatory;
  • Stricter compliance levels, including further penalties for hunters breaking the rules
  • Banning the use of lead shot for quail hunting;
  • Implementing the Waterfowl Wounding Reduction Action Plan, to reduce the risk of wounding; and
  • Greater recognition of Traditional Owners’ knowledge of hunting and land management.

After record-high native bird breeding in recent years due to the significant rainfall Victoria has received, the Victorian game duck population increased by almost three-fold.

Minister Dimopoulos has accepted the Game Management Authority’s (GMA) recommendations for a 2024 duck season commencing on Wednesday 10 April 2024 and ending on Wednesday 5 June 2024, inclusive.

Hunting start times will be delayed to 8am for the entire season. With a daily bag limit of six ducks per day, the Blue-winged Shoveler and Hardhead cannot be hunted for the 2024 season due to their threatened status. Determinations will be made as part of normal seasonal arrangements about sites where duck hunting will be prohibited.

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