I am one of the many locals of Lake Cairn Curran who are appalled that duck shooting has been allowed to continue and we are getting nowhere trying to liase with our MPs. We witness pelicans being shot and scooped up, illegal campers, mountains of rubbish and beer bottles left behind which we have to clean up. We are afraid for our families, friends and pets.
Many shooters (especially those who drink while shooting) are aggressive and shoot at anything from "no camping" signs to trees, to the algae in the water (so there's probably leadshot in the fish people catch). We have to call authorities every year. We get told they "turn a blind eye", are under-resourced and to go somewhere else. It is totally absurd that authorities send warnings to people to avoid contact with the water due to toxic algae, yet shooting is allowed to continue in the same area.
This means whatever is shot, falls to the water and is not retrieved, left to suffer a long and painful death and pollute our waters. The fact that unique and endangered species reside at our wetlands, that bird numbers - a strong indication of the health of our ecosystem - are 60% down and their breeding is at the lowest level ever recorded, should be enough for the government - Jaala Pulford - to stop this ridiculous and unpopular practice (less than 0.04% Victorians are licensed to shoot ducks).
The RSPCA has condemned the practice as extreme cruelty. Vets have published papers on what actually happens to the birds when they are sprayed with pellets (most do not die straight away) and other states have banned it. This , should speak to our MPs; Victorians loathe animal cruelty.
It gets worse. Kids as young as twelve are encouraged to shoot at our wildlife, without having to pass accuracy tests and rules have been passed which allow the shooters to shoot in secrecy.
There of course may be some shooters who are ethical and responsible and unaware of the pain and suffering caused to our wildlife Hopefully this will test and prove their ethos and they will cease killing our waterbirds. Unfortunately our MPs have, so far failed that test.
Kerry (surname withheld), Welshmans Reef
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