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Bloodsports target wildlife, women and children

Media Release: Auckland Animal Action
Thursday 4 May 2006

Bloodsports target wildlife, women and children

On Saturday 6 May, to coincide with the official start of the "game-bird" hunting season, Auckland Animal Action will be staging a dawn protest combined with bird rescue at a popular South Auckland hunting site.

Each year thousands of birds including ducks, Pukekos, geese, swans, quails and pheasants are shot during the hunting season and are left severely injured. Some wounded birds may be retrieved by hunters and killed via neck breaking or with close range gunshots. However, many birds will manage to escape, dying a slow death in the wilderness and becoming an easy target for predation due to their deteriorated

Auckland Animal Action spokesperson Deirdre Sims says, "We are opposed to
hunting because it is promoting violence, a disregard for animal welfare and irresponsible gun use. As New Zealander's, we should be very concerned that natives such as Pukekos and the New Zealand Grey Duck, are considered "game-birds" and can be hunted, while other natives, such as the Grey Teal Duck, are protected species yet are often shot and killed despite their endangered status."

"Game-bird" hunting is an issue which is increasingly drawing the attention and scrutiny of the New Zealand public. While approximately forty thousand shooters will besiege wetland habitats around the nation at the start of the hunting season this weekend, Fish and Game New Zealand director Bryce Johnson has recently stated in the media that the future of hunting as it is known in New Zealand is not guaranteed.

Fish and Game are using their website to fervently encourage women and children to take up the bloodsport in an attempt to boost the declining numbers and public profile of hunters in this "current political climate" where blasting an innocent bird out of the sky with a shotgun is called into question.

"Fish and Game's attempts to lure women and children into this violent bloodsport simply exposes the overall feeling of the New Zealand public - which is that our wildlife should be celebrated and preserved, not wounded, maimed and killed in the name of sport," says Ms Sims.

WHEN: Saturday 6 May


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