VICTORY! Native ducks saved as shooters barred from wetland

We’ve managed to close a major Victorian wetland to hunting, saving up to 20,000 precious native waterbirds from slaughter.

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LAST UPDATED: 23 March 2016

Earlier today, we went to the Supreme Court in Melbourne with the Coalition Against Duck Shooting — to force the Victorian government to take urgent action to protect threatened waterbirds.

With the support of thousands of caring Victorians, we filed an urgent injunction application seeking the closure of Lake Elizabeth to hunters due to the discovery of rare and threatened waterbirds there.

AND WE DID IT. At the eleventh hour, the state government finally agreed to close Lake Elizabeth wetland, where 155 threatened Blue-billed ducks are currently seeking sanctuary.

Lake Elizabeth is a primary wetland for shooters, and when the shotguns start firing on the opening day of the duck shooting season, rare and protected Blue-billed ducks would have been inevitably in the firing line. With such little water around and with this lake being artificially filled, drought-affected birds have flocked there in their thousands. They would be a captive population for shooters: they have nowhere else to go.

This is a major victory for the animals currently seeking refuge on Lake Elizabeth — not only those who can be legally killed during the shooting season, but dozens of other species, some threatened and endangered, who would find themselves in the midst of killing fields.

Animals Australia Legal Counsel Shatha Hamade and Executive Director Glenys Oogjes speak to media outside Victoria's Supreme Court.

This decision by the Victorian Government today today significantly reduces options for duck shooters across North West Victoria — and means tens of thousands of drought-affected waterbirds will live to see another day.

They are the lucky ones.

With the government's reckless approval of a full-length 2016 duck shooting season for other regions — even in the face of dire environmental conditions -- hundreds of thousands of other gentle native animals will still be left vulnerable to terror and slaughter in the name of 'sport'.

Together, we've won a great victory for animals, but we still have work to do.

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