Federal MP misfires on duck hunting

Kelvin Thomson

Federal MP Kelvin Thomson recently wrote to the Victorian Government calling for duck shooting to be banned because, according to him, it’s cruel.

Yet he failed to acknowledge a ban call could strip more than $100m of GDP from rural areas, each year causing irreparable damage to Victoria’s economy.  It could also cost jobs in his own electorate.

A copy of Mr Thomson’s letter can be seen at the end of this article.

In it, Mr Thomson argues duck shooting is cruel. He is also reported to have claimed ducks get exhausted from all the flying, which we assume is a reference to them trying to avoid duck hunters (which would in turn imply they know what shotguns are!).

That’s quite a naive claim. The Grey Teal for example, can travel 1,100 km in 24 hours.

Had Mr Thomson taken the time to speak with the major shooting organisations about his concerns, we’re confident he would now be more familiar with the facts and data as they apply to duck season, and the ethical hunting principles which are part of everyday hunting.

A rear-guard action against the Greens

Labor’s main competition in the seat of Wills, which takes in Brunswick, Coburg, Essendon and Fawkner (which is very much inner urban Melbourne), is the Greens.

The Greens already have a firm foothold in the Melbourne area, so Thomson’s claim is arguably a rear guard action to stem the growing Green vote.

Don’t ignore the economy

While a ban on duck shooting has an appealing and simplistic appeal to the inner urban set who know nothing about it, a ban would have serious economic consequences for the Victorian economy.

A recent study by the government’s own Game Management Authority shows duck hunting is worth more than $100m to the Victorian economy. Apart from the fact this would affect key regional areas such as Traralgon, Mansfield and Kerang the study shows that a decent proportion of the money spent by those preparing to go duck hunting occurs in areas such as Mr Thomson’s own electorate.

A ban would cost jobs. A lot of them.

His push to ban duck hunting would therefore strip badly needed business from his own electorate. Perhaps his local business community should ask him why this ‘Green agenda’ is more important than their livelihoods.

Our advice to any politician who thinks duck shooting should be banned is to consider the economic consequences for rural areas, and the state more generally. Their advice should instead be based on facts and data.

One good source for facts and data is the GMA report which can be downloaded by clicking here.

(Here is Mr Thomson’s letter)

Thomsom duck hunting

  1. How many times do shooters need to be told that the major parties are their friends. Those in the major parties that do support shooters do what their leaders tell them to do. As we have seen in the Victorian parliament this past few months when a minor party that is for Victorian shooters where stopped from having an inquiry into shooting sports, yet they supported an inquiry into drugs and gay marriage. Shooters need to wake up and start working together or we won’t servive against special interest groups that have voices in the major parties.

  2. Well said.

  3. I have been hearing this same reteric from the “Anti Hunter Groups” for many years now and not once has there ever been a concenses into what the actual people want!
    Not once has there ever been any factual information put forward, on the diseases that these ducks bring to dams, lakes and waterways, as they are “Migratory Birds” that travel to other lands, not just sit around in a puddle waiting for the ‘Duck Season’ to arrive.
    Never has it been asked, Do the communities where this hunting practice happens, actually like or dislike the Duck Hunting season, or if they can survive without one!!
    How many farming communities have had to clean up their water supplies(both domestic and farm water) when these ducks return each year, leaving diseases and pest plants(seads) along the way.
    Not one Politicion has ever asked their constituants what they wantonce they are ellected, all they do is try to get brownie points, following radical claptrap from minorities with loud voices, and never look at it from a logic basis, without any thought to the dammage it has on the community.
    Sorry, Rant over.
    These Pollies think that if they have someone from the educated sector(Uni Professor) that has indifference to hunting in any form(and of course Never been, done or tried the art)and they have a “Theory”, then it must be worth listening to.

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