Media release

No end in sight for duck hunting in Victoria

Monday, 29 January 2024

  • Estimated reading time 2 minutes

The Victorian government is set to reject a recommendation to ban duck hunting

BirdLife Australia is deeply disappointed with the Victorian Government’s move to allow recreational native bird hunting to continue in the state in 2024.

The shock announcement comes after last year’s parliamentary inquiry found Victoria should end its annual duck hunting season from 2024, following a record number of more than 10,500 submissions.

This decision ignores recommendations from the Select Committee on Victoria’s Recreational Native Bird Hunting Arrangements to ban the practice in the state.

Instead, the Government has announced that the 2024 duck season will run from Wednesday, April 10 to Wednesday, June 5.

Despite stricter regulations for hunters, today’s news is another devastating blow to threatened and declining native waterbirds.

The Eastern Australian Waterbird Survey shows waterbird populations have declined as much as 90% over the last forty years in eastern Australia. Despite this, over the last ten years an average of 320,000 ducks were shot and killed each hunting season in Victoria alone.

“Decades of waterbird monitoring in Australia reveals an ongoing and significant population decline in most waterbird species – including five of Victoria’s eight game duck species,” says BirdLife Australia’s Wetland Birds Program Manager Chris Purnell.

“We know that most Victorians support a permanent ban to duck hunting, and yet the State Government continues to ignore the advice of scientists and even the recommendations of its own inquiry to appease a very small but vocal minority.”

Alongside other conservation groups, BirdLife Australia has been campaigning to end duck hunting in Victoria for decades and will continue to advocate for the practice to be banned across the country.

Media contact:  Sean Dooley, National Public Affairs Manager (0407 789 067) or Andrew Hunter, Campaigns Manager (0449 935 184)