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Clear opposition to hunting native birds

Tuesday, 23 May 2023

  • Estimated reading time 2 min

Clear opposition to hunting native birds

Thousands demand end to native duck and quail hunting

Tragically, it’s still legal to shoot native birds recreationally in South Australia and Victoria. But, after decades of campaigning by the community, recent State Parliamentary inquiries provide hope that we can finally end this unsustainable and evidently unpopular pastime.

Native game bird species are at just 25 per cent of their long-term average numbers in south-eastern Australia! Harsh droughts, habitat destruction and, of course, recreational hunting, have caused populations to plummet since the 1980s. Successive high-quality breeding seasons are needed for populations to return to healthy and sustainable levels. While the last few years have been wet, it has not been enough for waterbird populations to bounce back. With El Niño conditions looming ominously on the horizon, now is the time to protect our vulnerable birds, not to keep blasting them out of the sky.

Facing growing community and scientific pressure, the South Australian and Victorian Parliaments each launched inquiries into the future of recreational native bird hunting in April. BirdLife Australia made sure our South Australian and Victorian supporters could quickly and easily make strong submissions to their respective inquiry.

We are proud to reveal that over 2000 South Australians and Victorians made submissions that opposed recreational native bird hunting in their state. In fact, so many submissions came through that the SA Parliament announced they wouldn’t be able to acknowledge every individual submission.

This is a great result for our native birds, and on behalf of BirdLife Australia, I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who added their voice!

So, what now?

Victoria’s inquiry committee announced that their recommendations will be tabled in the Legislative Council by 31 August, while South Australia’s committee is yet to set a date. With so many strong submissions, surely these inquiries advise that both states end the unsustainable, outdated and evidently unpopular practice of recreational native bird hunting.

Keep your eyes peeled for future BirdLife Australia updates on the two inquiries, either online, by email or in our social media. We will ensure you have all the information and tools you need to help protect vulnerable native birds!

Thank you again!