The minister responsible for the oversight of duck hunting in Victoria demonstrated today an inept understanding about hunting regulations, according to Member for Northern Victoria Daniel Young.
“In an attempt to clarify guidelines for new regulations relating to the retrieval of ducks shot by hunters, Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford failed to explain the very regulations she was talking about and admitted the advice from the Game Management Authority (GMA) used to explain the regulations is unclear,” Mr Young said.
“Furthermore, it became apparent the Minister is simply hoping that hunting enforcement officers will exercise the same judgement she failed to exercise in making the regulations.”
A member of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, and an avid duck hunter, Mr Young had sought clarification during Question Time in Parliament to the guidelines recently released on the GMA website about the retrieval of ‘downed’ ducks. The wording in the guidelines makes it unclear at what point a hunter must retrieve a duck, and appears to be a gross overreach by the Government.
Mr Young had asked whether the new regulations prohibited the common practice of shooting a pair of birds, for those with double-barrel shotguns, before retrieval. He also asked how enforcement officers would manage efforts by protesters to steal ducks downed by hunters, before they could get to the location where the duck hit the water.
The Minister continued to waffle about the regulations when she failed to answer another Member of Parliament’s questions as to how many enforcement officers would be present during the season and how they would interpret the guidelines.
“After talking in circles, the Minister admitted the guidelines could be improved on and did not rule out any further changes to the regulations,” Mr Young said.
“We are less than four weeks out from the opening of the duck season and the Minister responsible for imposing hunting regulations is writing policy on the run. Much of the confusion and chaos she has created could have been avoided had the Minister discussed the changes with hunting organisations before publishing the guidelines.”