Open season for duck hunters

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Lechelle Earl, owner/editor

Open season for duck hunters

The peak recreational duck hunting lobby group has welcomed the recent State Government decision to allow an open season on ducks between March 16 and June 30.

Conservation and Hunting Alliance of South Australia chairman Graham Stopp has congratulated the State Government on the announcement.

Mr Stopp said it was an affirmation of the right of all South Australians to harvest healthy wild food sustainably.

“After three La Nina years populations of game birds are at the highest level they have been for over a decade and we are looking forward to harvesting duck and quail as traditional, free-range food,” Mr Stopp said.

“None of the species hunted are under any threat and all species hunted are listed as ‘of least concern’ by the International Union for Conservation and Nature.

“A recent State Government review into duck and quail hunting found the activity was sustainable and should continue.

“The review recognised the hunting community’s involvement in the conservation and management of wetlands as well as its role in controlling feral pests.”

Mr Stopp said the review summary stated that duck and quail hunting is more than just a sport or recreational activity, but a tradition that is intergenerational, and cultural, as well as a philosophical, moral and lifestyle choice.

“We are satisfied that our hunting lifestyle has been scrutinised by an independent body and found to be a valuable and sustainable way of life for our members and First Nations people,” he said.

“We remain committed to improving animal welfare outcomes and will work closely with government to implement the recommendations of the review.”

CAHASA estimates between 1200 and 2000 hunting licences are issued in South Australia each year.

Around 30% are taken by residents of Victoria where the open season for ducks is much shorter.

Surveys undertaken by CAHASA indicate hunters are active on about five days per season each.

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