Peak Veterinary Body Strongly Supports Recommended Ban on Duck Hunting in Victoria

18 Jan 2024

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) reiterates its strong support for the recommended ban on duck hunting in Victoria, aligning with the recent findings of the Select Committee Inquiry into Recreational Native Bird Hunting. The AVA urges the government to prioritise the welfare of native waterbirds and quail.


The Select Committee's final report, tabled in 2023, followed an extensive inquiry and recommended a complete end to recreational native bird hunting on both public and private lands starting in 2024. This move would bring Victoria in line with progressive animal welfare standards across the country, such as Western Australia, New South Wales, and Queensland, which have already prohibited recreational duck hunting.


A study in Victoria reported that up to 33 per cent of hunted birds were wounded in shooting, but not retrieved – resulting in crippling injuries such as wing, bill and leg fractures, leading to prolonged suffering and increased vulnerability to predators. "As veterinarians, it is our responsibility to prioritise the well-being of animals, and the current state of duck hunting in Victoria raises serious concerns” says AVA’s Victorian Division President ,Dr. Cathy Deague 


"This year, 2024, marks a crucial moment for animal welfare in Victoria. We believe it is the right time for the Victorian Government to reassess its stance on duck hunting and take the final step toward a complete ban. The AVA stands ready to support and empower the government in modernising animal welfare practices"  said Dr Cathy Deague.


The AVA urges the Victorian government to consider the ethical and animal-welfare concerns outlined in the Select Committee's report. Ending duck hunting in Victoria will not only reflect the wishes of the majority but also safeguard native waterbirds and quail from unnecessary harm.


For more information see the AVA policy: Waterfowl hunting February 2023

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About the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA):

The Australian Veterinary Association is the peak national body representing veterinarians in Australia.