In spite of continuous demand for eradication of duck hunting tradition this season, the Victorian government has given a green signal to the “wabbit season” in 2016.

The drop in the duck population has grabbed the attention of many groups working for animal protection following which they advocated for discontinuation of the duck hunting procedure. Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford announced on Friday the limit of bags and ducks to be used for the hunting season this year.

It was shocking for animal protection groups to see that the state government did not cancel the duck hunting season as they did before in 2007 and 2008 when the duck population reached similar limits. “I am appalled by the decision to allow a full 12-week duck hunting season,” AAP quoted RSPCA Victoria’s CEO Liz Walker as saying.

She also said that such a decision taken by authorities indicates disregard for sustainability in recent times. Walker also called the day as a dark one for duck welfare. According to the Game Management Authority report, wetland areas dropped to below 100,000 hectares due to lack of rainfall in 2015. The figures were recorded down to a third from 2014. Dipped breeding also constituted one of the reasons for the present count in number of ducks.

The Greens demanded an end to duck hunting this season after seeing the declining duck population. The report showed that Victoria’s wetlands have slipped over 30 percent since 2014. However, based on the game authorities’ suggestions, the government has reduced the limit of birds used to 8 per day from 10 a day earlier for the opening day– March 19. After the first day, the hunters will get four birds a day for the rest of the 12-week season.

Meanwhile, Animals Australia Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt will review the state government’s decision as protection of native waterbirds falls under federal law.