2011/04: Should the duck hunting season have been extended in Victoria?

Introduction to the media issue

Video clip at right:
A March, 2010 ABC news report on the opening of the 2010 duck season, featuring short interviews with shooters and shooting opponents. If you cannot see this clip, it will be because video is blocked by your network. To view the clip, access from home or from a public library, or from another network which allows viewing of video clips.

What they said...
'Every animal is a living creature and should not suffer unnecessarily as a result of hunting'
From Field and Game Australia Inc's Code of Conduct and Ethics

'Studies show that for every duck retrieved, a wounded bird flies off, often suffering a lingering death'
Age editorial January 14, 2011

The issue at a glance
On January 12, 2011, the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) announced that Victoria's duck hunting season would be extended to 12 weeks after above-average rainfall had led to increased waterfowl habitat and breeding.
In Victoria the season will run from March 19 to June 13, with hunters allowed to shoot a maximum of 10 game ducks per day.
Ms Kylie White from the DSE said significant rainfall over the past 12 months had increased habitat for waterfowl including game and bird populations and that as a result Victoria could sustain a return to normal seasonal arrangements in 2011.
This position has been completely rejected by a range of animal welfare and environment groups.
Mr Laurie Levy, the head of the Coalition Against Duck Shooting (CADS) has stated that the decision was 'irresponsible' as Victorian water birds are only just beginning to recover from the drought. Mr Levy and others fear that this decision could significantly endanger water bird populations in south-eastern Victoria.