This morning marked the opening weekend of the duck hunting season in Victoria; a season that, each year, transforms Australia's wetlands from peaceful sanctuaries for our native wildlife, into bloody game parks.
The 2016 and 2017 Victorian duck hunting seasons saw the unlawful massacre of endangered and protected species. In response, an independent report found that non-compliant behaviours and breaches of hunting laws are widespread, and regulation of duck hunting is ineffective.
Lax licensing laws allow for untrained and inexperienced hunters, who do not have to pass a shooting accuracy test or demonstrate knowledge of which species are protected, to shoot openly in the wetlands.
An estimated half a million ducks are killed during a single hunting season, with 50,000 birds injured by mis-hits, and suffering prolonged deaths.
In Victoria, duck populations have been declining since 2015 and are currently the lowest recorded since 1983. Duck hunting further threatens native waterbird populations, and damages wetland ecosystems.
Go to @animalsaustralia to take action to stop this needless killing.
Hunter waves his kills to antagonize protestors. Australia, 2017.
Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals