Two anti-hunting protesters must pay thousands of dollars in fines and costs after being found guilty of charges relating to the Victorian 2010 duck season.
With fines of around $1400 each, costs against them of about $5000 each, witness fees and their own legal fees, it’s estimated the pair will pay well over $50,000.
Field and Game Australia (FGA) has joined hunters in welcoming the guilty verdicts against Dave Mould and Kelly Lachman, who had joined protests by the Coalition Against Duck Shooting (CADS).
Mould was convicted on 13 charges and Lachman on 27, including theft, hindering and harassing and, in Lachman’s case, using indecent language.
The news comes at the same time CADS founder Laurie Levy announced the organisation is trying to raise $10,000 to deploy undercover RSPCA officers in wetlands when the Victorian duck season opens in March.
Levy was reportedly present in court when the judgment was made again Mould and Lachman, but left without speaking with them. It’s not known if CADS helped their defence or will help them cover their costs.
“I hope the convictions and fines against Mr Mould and Ms Lachman are a strong deterrent to others who may be considering illegal action during the 2013 Victorian Duck Season,” FGA CEO Rod Drew said.
“This should send a strong warning to others that regardless of their opinion on duck hunting, any law breaking or illegal protest activities that hinder and obstruct legitimate licensed hunters will not be tolerated.
“A number of protesters are repeat offenders who continue to disregard the safety of both themselves and others by deliberately causing dangerous situations on the wetlands.
“FGA has been concerned for years that the extreme protest activities by some individuals could result in serious injury or death.”