Nationals Member for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland has labelled the Labor Government’s decision to back away from a duck and quail hunting ban as a win for hunters and their families, and for science and sensibility.
Ms Cleeland said the Inquiry into Victoria’s Recreational Native Bird Hunting Arrangements was seriously flawed, and the Allan Labor Government made the correct choice to reject the recommendation to ban duck and quail hunting in Victoria.
“Any ban on duck and quail hunting introduced in Victoria would have been based on emotion and political ideology, not sound science,” Ms Cleeland said.
“During the Inquiry, the Committee heard in evidence that the greatest threat to duck populations is habitat decline, not hunting.
“If hunters continue to revive and care for our wetlands as they have done, then our waterfowl will have habitat to breed and flourish into the future.
“Hunting, like fishing is a legitimate outdoor activity that harvests food from nature – it’s a sustainable activity delivering social, environmental, and economic benefits in regional Victoria.”
Ms Cleeland said hunters across the electorate had reached out to her during the inquiry, with the MP speaking at a duck hunting forum last year.
“I received hundreds of emails during the inquiry into duck hunting and it was clear the commitment that these hunters have to upholding sustainable and ethical principles,” Ms Cleeland said.
“Many of my constituents also took exception at the lack of understanding and falsehoods that were peddled.
“Recreational hunting is a legitimate and disciplined pastime enjoyed by many country people – participants can be young, old, tradies, professionals, men and women and their negative portrayal for the sake of politics was unjust.
“Respecting wildlife and participating in duck hunting do not need to be mutually exclusive ideals.”
While Ms Cleeland said the decision to continue the duck hunting season was a win, there remained some concerns about new limitations being introduced.
“Whilst I am relieved to see hunting continue, I am still wary about the direction the Government is looking to take in future,” Ms Cleeland said.
“Nonetheless, I am pleased hunters will still be able to enjoy their favourite pastime, and The Nationals will continue to advocate for their right to do so.”