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The issue

Every year, during the government-declared Open Season, many thousands of native ducks are shot over the wetlands of Australia in the name of ‘sport’.

Some of these ducks are killed outright. Some will be wounded, brought down and killed on retrieval. Many others will be crippled or wounded but not found, and will slowly die over the following hours or days, suffering prolonged pain and distress.

In addition, non-target birds (including protected endangered and other native birds) may be frightened and distressed by the disturbance created by people, dogs and noise of shotguns. There are also many instances where non-declared species are being shot, maimed and/or killed.

Many veterinarians have attended duck shoots to treat injured birds, and have been appalled at the extent and nature of injuries inflicted – including severely damaged bills, leg and wing injuries, as well as muscle and tissue damage.

What needs to change

The RSPCA opposes the recreational hunting of ducks because of the inherent and inevitable pain and suffering caused.

We believe recreational duck hunting should be stopped in all Australian states and territories. The relevant Minister has the power to revoke the annual declaration of an open season to shoot native ducks.