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Minister told to count the crippled


Minister told to count the crippled

The 2008 duck-shooting season will open with a lame duck, rather than a bang. A crippled ‘duck’ will make its way to the Department of Conservation (DoC) today demanding that the Minister of Conservation instigate immediate research into the maiming and crippling of waterfowl caused by duck shooters in New Zealand.
 
National animal advocacy organisation SAFE says research conducted overseas concludes duck shooters cause unacceptable levels of suffering. SAFE believes as many as 275,000 ducks, geese and swans in New Zealand, including non-game and protected species, will be left crippled to die a slow and painful death. It is expected one million waterfowl will be shot and killed during the three-month season on New Zealand waterways.
 
“International research reveals 20 to 45 percent of waterfowl shot by shooters are wounded and not retrieved,” says SAFE’s campaign director Hans Kriek.
 
Evidence obtained under the Official Information Act shows that neither DoC or Fish & Game New Zealand hold any information that suggests wounding rates of New Zealand game birds are any lower.
 
“SAFE is therefore concerned that both departments are prepared to downplay the level of suffering caused by duck shooters when legitimate international data clearly suggests otherwise.”
 
“Three states in Australia have banned duck shooting on cruelty grounds. The results of independent research in New Zealand could well spell the end to recreational duck shooting in this country,” says Mr Kriek.
 
SAFE will launch the campaign on the doorsteps of the Department of Conservation in Christchurch at 12.30pm today. A wheelchair-bound lame ‘duck’ will be amongst demonstrators demanding immediate research into the cruelty of duck shooting, outside the DoC office located at 195 Hereford Street in Christchurch.
 
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