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Petition To Ban Duck Shooting Circulating In New Zealand

A petition to ban duck shooting in NZ has been created by animal advocacy group Starfish. It is circulating and gathering signatures to present to Rt. Hon. Jacinda Adern, Hon. David Parker and Hon. James Shaw.

We created this petition for a number of reasons. Apart from the animal cruelty involved, native New Zealand ducks are also shot during duck shooting season.

We believe that All New Zealanders should know that three native duck species, in decline or endangered, are allowed to be shot under the outdated Wildlife Act 1953.

This is hypocrisy when we spend millions of tax-payer’s dollars – expensive aerial poison drops, hours of both government paid work and unpaid volunteer work – protecting our precious native birds. To allow native species to be slaughtered every duck-shooting season makes no sense.

We are calling for the immediate protection of the Grey Duck (Parera), the Shoveler (Kuruwhengi) and the Paradise Shelduck (Putangitangi). We are also calling for the immediate protection of the Pukeko, an iconic native waterfowl that is shot in the tens of thousands every season, mostly ‘for fun’.

The native Grey Duck is classified as “critically endangered”. Since both sexes of the Grey Duck, as well as the female Shoveler, look similar to the female Mallard, only a ban on all duck-shooting will protect them.

All duck species are in decline, including the abundant Mallard. Over-hunting, habitat loss, pollution and climate change are the main culprits.

Duck-shooting is inherently cruel. Australian studies show that one in four ducks fall to the ground wounded, dying a slow death.

We are calling for compassion and kindness to be extended to Aotearoa’s beautiful waterfowl. In the midst of a global pandemic, can we not develop a new empathy for those we define as our prey, when we ourselves are experiencing the horrors of becoming prey to a biological enemy out to destroy us?

We are also in the middle of a biodiversity crisis and Starfish considers it unacceptable that our native species should be put at risk of extinction by political pandering to the hunting lobby and industry interests.

Australia has banned duck-shooting in three states. It is time for New Zealand to catch up.

Dr Lynley Tulloch is spokesperson for Starfish and a specialist in environmental and sustainability education.

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