PRESS RELEASE: Animals Australia to file injunction to stop shooting at major Victorian wetland

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PRESS RELEASE: By ANIMALS AUSTRALIA On MAR 18, 2016

ANIMALS AUSTRALIA TO FILE INJUNCTION TO STOP SHOOTING AT MAJOR VICTORIAN WETLAND

Animals Australia and the Coalition Against Duck Shooting (CADS) are this morning making an urgent injunction application in the Victorian Supreme Court seeking the closure of Lake Elizabeth due to the discovery of rare and threatened waterbirds.

Victoria's duck shooting season opens this Saturday.

On Thursday March 17th Animals Australia became aware that recent duck hunting surveys had detected approximately 155 threatened Blue-billed Ducks present at Lake Elizabeth. It's understood that the Game Management Authority (GMA), both responsible Ministers and their Departments had been aware of this discovery.

Two other wetlands — Heywoods Lake State Game Reserve and Round Lake at Lake Boga — were recently closed to duck hunting when surveys revealed the presence of this same species. Yet, Lake Elizabeth is to remain open.

Animals Australia and CADS hold grave concerns for the Blue-billed Ducks due to:

  • government data showing shooters have a 29.4% wounding rate;
  • protected species being shot and killed every duck shooting season; and
  • the Blue-billed Duck being one of the most frequently shot non-game species.

"This rare and threatened species of waterbird will inevitably be at significant risk of trauma, injury and death if duck shooters are allowed to descend on Lake Elizabeth," said Lyn White from Animals Australia.

"The only responsible measure to take was to temporarily close this wetland to shooting but in the absence of GMA recommending this course of action, we are now seeking recourse through the Supreme Court."

Part of the Kerang RAMSAR wetlands, Lake Elizabeth is a wetland of international significance. With most wetlands in North-West Victoria dry, it is one of only two which has been artificially filled with water. As a result, drought-affected waterbirds have flocked to Lake Elizabeth, and as such, will be the major destination for shooters when the season opens tomorrow.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Lisa Chalk | 0488 006 478

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