Victorian teachers' union calls on government to ban duck hunting

Photo: Coalition Against Duck Shooting

On February 14, the Australian Education Union (AEU) passed a motion calling on the Victorian government to ban recreational duck shooting.

The AEU covers more than 48,000 public school teachers and other education workers.

The motion, moved by AEU branch councillor Mary Merkenich and seconded by AEU deputy president Justin Mullaly, was passed unopposed.

Duck shooting is already banned in three states: Western Australia; Queensland and New South Wales.

Surveys have found that the majority of Victorians support a ban on duck shooting, as do the majority of Labor voters.

In 1990, Western Australian Labor Premier Carmen Lawrence outlawed duck shooting, stating at the time that the community had “reached a stage of enlightenment where it can no longer accept the institutionalised killing of native birds for recreation”.

She pointed to evidence from duck shooting seasons that showed how injured ducks “have been left to die, protected species have been shot and fragile wetlands have been polluted by lead and cartridges”.

According to the RSPCA, hunters cannot avoid maiming ducks. Good shooters wound more ducks than poor shooters (who mostly miss altogether) because their aim is better and their shots hit more birds more often, although many do not kill the birds instantly. Wounded ducks can take minutes or weeks to die a painful death.

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