The “wabbit season” might continue in Victoria, but the Greens’ request might bring the tradition to an end in 2016.
Following the Game Management Authority report released on Friday on the declining population of ducks in Victoria’s wetlands to over 30 percent since 2014, Greens have urged the cancellation of duck hunting. The game duck abundance index recorded 66,226 for 2015, which was the second lowest on record since 1983. Before 2014, the duck population decreased to 69,000 in 2007 and 2008 when the duck hunting was cancelled.
Federal Labor MP Kelvin Thomson urged the Victorian government to ban duck hunting in 2016. The comments from the MP disturbed Shooters and Fishers MP Daniel Young, who demanded the government to confirm the status for the duck hunting season.
“The government should have announced the season before the New Year … they’ve left us hanging and hunters don’t know what’s going on,” Young said as quoted by Weekly Times Now.
The Greens demanded the state government to act in the same way in 2016 duck hunting season. “The science says duck hunting shouldn’t go ahead,” party leader Greg Barber said as quoted by AAP. “The evidence is overwhelming that the government needs to cancel the 2016 duck season.”
As a result, the state government said that it was the Game Management Authority’s suggestion. Environment Minister Lisa Neville’s spokesperson said the government will announce the decision on the matter soon.
Field and Game Australia General Manager David McNabb said that the change in legislation is not yet confirmed but information regarding amendments relating to the bag limit was still needed. He added that whatever may be the result, any change in the law will directly impact retailers.
The report depicted that the number of hunters who participated in the duck hunting in 2015 was lesser. The participating hunters were active for only a third of the usual days of competition.