Alleged breaches ‘rustle feathers’

Alleged breaches ‘rustle feathers’

Aformal complaint has been lodged with the State Government regarding alleged breaches of duck shooting permit condition when the open season began at Lake George last month.

The complainants claim to have video footage showing duck shooters engaging in the action of windmilling wounded ducks.

Windmilling is holding a wounded duck by its head and swinging it in circles in an effort to kill it.

Shooters appear to be consuming alcohol whilst shooting and not supervising children.

The video footage lasts nine minutes and has been posted to social media.

RSPCA South Australia has confirmed receipt of a formal complaint alleging that several duck hunters breached the state’s Animal Welfare Act during the first weekend of the SA duck hunting season.

The complaint was submitted last week to both RSPCA SA and the Department of Environment and Water.

However, a strong defence of the actions of duck shooters has been mounted by the Conservation and Hunting Alliance of South Australia.

Its president Graham Stopp told The SE Voice he had viewed the video footage.

“We are looking to verify the bona fides of it,” Mr Stopp said.

“We have had legal opinions which state no illegal actions are shown in the footage.

“Windmilling is not illegal while drinking alcohol is allowed while duck shooting but you cannot be intoxicated.

“People from the Conservation and Hunting Alliance were at Lake George over the season opening weekend last month.

“They reminded duck shooters of the Code of Practice.

“There have been no breaches of permit conditions by any shooters in South Australia or Victoria this season and there has been 100% compliance.

“We just want to harvest wild game and take part in a legal activity.

“A parliamentary committee in SA last year supported the continuation of duck shooting.”

A RSPCA spokesperson said DEW issues the hunting permits and is responsible for monitoring for compliance with hunters’ permit and code obligations.

“The Code of Practice that hunters operate under requires them to comply with the state’s Animal Welfare Act,” the spokesperson said.

“The complaint was lodged by animal welfare lobby group SAFA (South Aussies for Animals).

“The group has provided video footage in support of their allegations, which they say was captured by their volunteers at Lake George on March 16 and 17.

“As this is now an active investigation, RSPCA SA will not be providing further comment at this stage.”

When the footage was revealed last month, the RSPCA stated it is not opposed to killing animals for food but maintains that killing methods must guarantee a quick, humane death.

The not-for-profit group said using a shotgun to kill native birds does not meet this requirement.

“Successive polls and responses to the ongoing Animal Welfare Act review demonstrate overwhelming community support for banning duck hunting,” RSPCA SA Animal Welfare Advocate Dr Rebekah Eyers said.

Meanwhile, South Aussies for Animals wants its supporters to directly lobby Premier Peter Malinauskas and Environment Minister Dr Susan Close to end duck shooting.

“Video footage of the opening weekend of duck shooting has [allegedly] again shown gross cruelty and breaches of hunting regulations,” stated a SAFA spokesperson.

“I cannot understand why the Labor government allows this outdated activity to continue when it is so clearly out of step with community expectations.

“Please make 2024 the last duck and quail killing season.”

A Department for Environment and Water spokesperson told The SE Voice that a formal complaint had been received last week relating to duck hunting activities at Lake George in March.

“An investigation is now under way to determine if there were any breaches of the National Parks and Wildlife Act,” the spokesperson said.

“DEW treats alleged hunting offences seriously and investigates all complaints it receives.

“Anyone who wishes to share a tip about an animal welfare or environmental crime can do so anonymously by visiting”

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