Anti-duck hunting zealot Laurie Levy has vowed to continue to obstruct Victoria’s duck hunters despite being fined for infringing on the hunting area at Lake Elizabeth in the north of the state.
The Coalition Against Duck Shooting member described the laws that prohibit him from entering prohibited hunting areas as “insidious” and said in a Sky News report that he would fight the laws in the High Court.
‘It’s very hard when you’re out on the wetlands to see birds that are brutalised by duck shooters,’ he said.
‘That’s why we’ll continue fighting this issue until duck fighting is banned in Victoria.’
However, it was reported Field and Game Australia chairman Bill Paterson says the regulations aim to improve safety at the wetlands for both hunters and protesters, and wants tougher action against protesters.
He said hunters are highly regulated and compliant but forced to operate under duress from ‘extremists’ who had ‘total disregard’ for the law.
Others on Field and Game Australia’s Facebook page pointed out that while authorities were forced to deal with what has been described as a publicity stunt rather than monitor hunting.
“If it wasn’t for Laury and his mates, the DEPI guys could actually scrutinise the Hunters that they reckon are doing the wrong thing,” wrote one poster. “They are counterproductive to their own cause. Which goes to show they don’t really give to hoots they just want some headlines.”
It was also reported Victorian duck hunters have bagged slightly below-average numbers on the opening day of the 12-week season, while authorities reported a small number of protesters and shooters breaking the law but said most behaved responsibly with an estimated 15,000 hunters turning out for the 2014 season’s opening weekend.
Hunters copped 23 infringement notices and one will face court for shooting a protected freckled duck, a penalty drawing up to a $35,000 fine or two years’ jail, Department of Environment officials said.
Protesters were handed 10 infringement notices and five banning notices for illegally entering hunting areas during prohibited times. Another protester may face charges.
Premier Denis Napthine said duck season had a legitimate place in Victoria and hunters and protesters needed to be responsible.