Tas duck season opens
By Lisa Maclean
COLES BAY, Tas — Almost 60 members of Duck Rescue were on location here in Moulting Lagoon (one of the world's great wetlands) for the opening of the state's duck season on March 7.
Thanks to a change introduced by the Liberal government, the first shots rang out exactly an hour before sunrise, when darkness made it impossible to distinguish one species from another. This, and the casual attitude of many shooters, resulted in a number of endangered species being shot down.
Quite a few shooters were very rowdy, perhaps due to the almost unlimited supply of alcohol that seemed to be present.
There were four incidents of unprovoked assaults on rescuers; charges are being pressed. Rescuers were verbally abused in their own camp and had the occasional duck's head thrown at them as well.
At the end of the day the lagoon was littered with empty stubbies and cartridges. Feathers were everywhere. Ducks had been plucked, dewinged and beheaded on the lagoon, and it was not a pretty sight.
The shooting ended an hour after sunset — another 60 minutes of shooting aimlessly into the dark at anything moving.
Duck Rescue will be organising various protests throughout the season. If interested in helping, please ring (002) 43 5446 or 38 8829.