Did someone say duck?
It’s Tuesday and today I’m talking about duck hunting.
Did you know duck hunting season will soon kick-off in South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania? In case you’re wondering, it’s been banned in other states after public opposition.
According to Animals Australia, an organisation opposed to duck hunting, more than 600,000 ducks were killed in Victoria’s season last year. It’s estimated that for every duck killed and captured, there is another duck left injured. The occurrence and degree of maiming, depends largely on the skill of the shooter and the weapon used. It’s been well evidenced that the majority of ducks injured are not discovered by the shooter, so end up slowly dying after prolonged suffering. None of that sounds very sporting to me.
The RSPCA is also a vocal opponent of the “sport” calling for it to be banned Australia-wide. Both organisations have links on their websites asking people to send emails to the South Australian, Victorian, Tasmanian and Northern Territory Governments urging them to put a stop to recreational duck hunting.
Unsurprisingly, the Australian Shooters Association of Australia is not on the same page. On its SA branch’s website, it has a photo not too dissimilar to the one below, over-layed on top of the image it says: “Get ready for a bumper 2012 Duck and Quail season. Take a mate duck hunting”. And bumper it will be, with (and this is in SA alone) bag limits of 12 ducks and 25 quails per hunter per day for the season being set by the government yesterday. Seeng that the duck season goes for three months and the quails season for nearly four months – that seems like a lot of dead birds to me.
But don’t worry, as the ASSA has a Hunter’s Code which asks for members to obey game laws, rules of safe handling, support conservation efforts and to acquire marksmanship skills to “assure clean, sportsmanlike kills”. Mmm, okay. Still not convinced.
For people who do not eat meat on ethical grounds, they would argue that killing animals for any reason is wrong. I have for many years been of that belief. However, I now eat meat and I particularly enjoy Peking Duck so I’m not sure if I am in a position to argue against killing ducks. I do try though to, where I can, buy only ethically grown and killed meat. Just as I refuse to buy caged eggs, I also attempt to buy free range pork, chicken and other meat. If someone was to shoot a duck and then consume it that night for dinner I would not feel uncomfortable.
However, without a doubt, I am against shooting animals for fun. I am aslo wary of the impact duck hunts have on the environment. And I feel immense distress at knowing there will be ducks left in agony. Killing animals is not a “sport”. Killing animals should purely be for consumption, not for the thrill of the chase. Clay pigeon shooting, however, well, that’s really good fun.
What are your thoughts on hunting animals? Do you think the animals suffer?
Do you think the sport should be allowed to continue? Or do you think duck hunting should be banned?
Have a fab day,
Main photo: Animals Australia