Calls for duck shooting ban continue as senior activist carries out 'disheartening' ritual

We all look forward to a peaceful retirement filled with hobbies and time spent with loved ones.

However, one man decided to spend his golden years fighting for an advocacy he strongly believes in.

Laurie Levy, an 82-year-old veteran activist, once again found himself in the halls of Parliament House to lay bare a truth many would rather ignore.

The heartbreaking images of Levy cradling the lifeless bodies of native ducks, victims of Victoria's controversial shooting season, speak volumes of his unwavering commitment to wildlife conservation.

These ducks, collected from wetlands, represent more than just the casualties of recreational activity; they symbolise a clash between tradition and the growing call for animal welfare and environmental protection.

compressed-duck (1).jpeg
Laurie Levy has been calling for the duck shooting ban for over 30 years as the campaign director for Coalition Against Duck Shooting. Image Credit: Facebook/Coalition Against Duck Shooting

'You go out there. And you have to witness the brutality, and the cruelty, and the violence that duck shooters inflict on the beautiful native waterbirds,' Levy shared.

He placed the bodies of these waterbirds, including illegally shot protected and threatened species, on display for all to see.

Some of these birds met instant death, while others suffered from mortal wounds before being humanely euthanised by wildlife vets.

Despite his age, Laurie's spirit remains undeterred.

He continues to play a pivotal role in the fight to ban duck shooting, surrounded by a new generation of activists.

He compares himself to an ageing footballer: while no longer able to run the field, he still possesses a deep understanding of the game.

Last year brought a glimmer of hope for Levy and his cause.

The Andrews Labor Government had commissioned an inquiry into the annual duck shooting season, fueled by concerns over animal welfare, environmental impacts, and a decline in public support.

The inquiry's recommendation to ban the duck season was triumphant for animal welfare groups.

With other states like Queensland and NSW already having banned the practice, it seemed Victoria might follow suit.

However, the celebration was short-lived.

Internal divisions within the Labor Party and threats from Victoria's unions—led by the Electrical Trades Union—cast a shadow over the ban's future.

When Jacinta Allan assumed leadership, she decided against the inquiry's findings, allowing the duck season to continue with modified restrictions.

Levy's protests at Parliament House, which he started in 1986, aim to confront politicians with the harsh realities of duck shooting.

Yet despite his persistence, he remains sceptical about swaying Premier Allan's stance on the issue.

'She knows exactly what's going on. We've had many discussions over the years,' Levy said.

'She's a supporter of duck shooting; she'll always be a supporter of duck shooting.'

The Coalition Against Duck Shooting continues to protest at shooting sites, often joined by the Animal Justice Party, volunteers, and vets from Wildlife Victoria who treat injured birds.

Over the years, the number of active shooters has dwindled, and public support for a ban has grown to an estimated 87 per cent.

Levy hopes the cabinet will ultimately align with public opinion despite the current premier's support for the practice.

A Victorian government spokesperson has responded to inquiries.

'Duck hunting is a legitimate activity, and it matters to thousands of Victorians who love the great outdoors—but more than that, it supports regional communities and economies,' they stated.

They also asserted their stance, allowing recreational duck and quail hunting to continue in a safer and more sustainable manner.

Laurie Levy's dedication to protecting Australia's wildlife is a reminder of the impact people can have in the world.

It's a call to action for all of us to consider the legacy we wish to leave behind.
Key Takeaways

  • Activist Laurie Levy displayed bodies of native ducks killed during Victoria's shooting season outside Parliament House, calling an end to the brutal practice.
  • Levy, the founder of Coalition Against Duck Shooting, has been campaigning for a ban on duck shooting, which has seen dwindling numbers of active shooters and high public support for a ban.
  • The Andrews Labor Government's inquiry recommended banning the duck season, but new Premier Jacinta Allan allowed it to continue with new restrictions.
  • The Victorian government insists that duck hunting is a legitimate activity that supports regional communities and economies and plans to continue allowing it in a safe, sustainable, and responsible manner.
Have you witnessed the effects of duck shooting in your community? Do you believe there's a place for such traditions in modern society? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Anyone who supports duck shooting should be the ones that have to go out and collect these poor animals who are suffering and hold them while looking in their eyes while they have to be euthanised by vets, wonder how they feel after that. Duck shooting should stop now.

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