PRESS RELEASE: Major Victorian wetland closed to duck shooters

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PRESS RELEASE: By ANIMALS AUSTRALIA On MAR 18, 2016

MAJOR VICTORIAN WETLAND CLOSED TO DUCK SHOOTERS

Animals Australia and the Coalition Against Duck Shooting have welcomed the decision to close Lake Elizabeth for the entire 2016 duck shooting season.

Just half an hour before an urgent injunction application was set to be heard by the Victorian Supreme Court the Department of Environment informed Animals Australia that they would be closing this major wetland to hunting.

Animals Australia and CADS had sought this commitment from the government after becoming aware that approximately 155 threatened Blue-billed Ducks were detected at Lake Elizabeth. Despite having closed two other wetlands due to the presence of this species, Lake Elizabeth was set to remain open.

"It shouldn't have taken two charities going to the Supreme Court to seek an injunction to protect a rare and threatened species of waterbird," said Animals Australia's Lyn White.

"It shows a complete failure of the authority entrusted with their care and raises enormous concerns if the government is relying on this authority for advice. Had they been appropriately advised, there wouldn't be a duck shooting season at all this year."

"We are thrilled that those birds seeking refuge on Lake Elizabeth will be protected this year. However, hundreds of thousands of others will still fall victim to Victoria's recreational shooting season against the wishes of the vast majority of Victorians."

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, would have been a major destination for shooters when the season opens tomorrow.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Lisa Chalk | 0488 006 478 |

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