Category Archives: Newsletter

HERE’S WHAT WE HAVE BEEN UP TO SINCE FEBRUARY

meme-progress-update-aug2020

WITH THE WORLD now topsy-turvey and distressed in the grip of COVID-19 (not unrelated to human abuse of wildlife), we firstly wish all AWPC members to stay safe and hold our governments responsible for support through this pandemic. And here is a summary report on activities this quarter.

We’ve sent out the annual membership renewal notice (this section). We need your help, and commitment to rebuild the AWPC and conduct positive national campaigns in the next year. Post fire and with the ongoing government destruction policies (some of which cited on this website, sadly), the surviving wildlife needs us more than ever.

In the next year a goal is to build on this year’s awareness raising and lobbying against wildlife destruction with some positive campaigns. Some ideas include: a model for ecotourism with Indigenous communities; liaising with regenerative agriculture to show how respecting native biodiversity is a winning formula; reviving our education and publishing arm. We continue to campaign and also support international campaigns for Australia’s most persecuted native animal — Skippy the bush kangaroo and international tourist icon.

AWPC can take a strong part in rebuilding to a smarter, less colonial, more life-affirming political economy as we continue to face the twin existential threats of climate change and biodiversity loss. Let’s aim for that.

awpc-duck-SEASON-feature-may2020Since the beginning of the year, the AWPC committee (Peter Hylands, Chris Lehmann, Carmen Ryan, Maria Taylor), has been re-establishing an operating base, including the website here and a social media presence. As well, committee members have:

•  Lobbied governments in Victoria, ACT and South Australia, particularly on the disgraceful government continuance post bushfires of commercial and non-commercial kangaroo killing that continues unabated. Persecution of other common species including wombats, dingos, flying foxes, and native bird hunting has also been a focus of AWPC lobbying, letters and awareness raising.

AWPC works in tandem with progressive politicians particularly AJP and some Greens for greater impact. AWPC also prioritises working with other wildlife groups on any localised or national issue. There is strength in unity.

•  Supported — ie with listening and resources, contacts, media — people who have contacted us usually from rural communities. Often it has been distress at government programs including aerial baiting with 1080 poison throughout NSW public lands, and localised kangaroo killing in Victoria or concerns this is planned.

•  Made AWPC submissions to reviews of the Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act; to the Parliament Enquiry into the Extinction Crisis in Victoria; to the National Code of Practice for the Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies for commercial purposes. Submission are available at the submission archive on the website top bar.

•  Developed a pilot social media campaign on AWPC facebook and Instagram aimed at speaking directly to the public. The campaign trialed the use of memes (main imagery above). The targets were the Canberra ACT kangaroo killing campaign in late June and July.

A short trial also focused on discouraging consumption for people or pets of Australia’s own variety of bushmeat, kangaroo meat — brought to us by a commercial industry. The memes received a lot of public take-up and are proving their use for awareness-raising and political pushback.

•  Worked with the US Centre for a Humane Economy to publicise their campaign exposing how the California ban on the import and sale of kangaroo body parts is being flouted. In this case the law has been broken by international sports shoe brands’ use of kangaroo leather for athletic shoes. Story is/will be appearing on this website for your information.

•  Travelled through and filed the AWPC archives. This has underscored 50 years of dedicated wildlife work by previous AWPC committees, campaigners and supportive Australians. The archive has yielded documentary evidence for my (Maria Taylor) soon-to-be published book on Australia’s colonial and embedded culture towards the country’s wildlife, and its deadly legacy — told through words and stories of heroes for the voiceless.

— AWPC CONTACT DETAILS —

— AWPC EDITOR, Maria Taylor —

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Thank you Coronavirus, Climate Change, Drought, Fire …

awpc-duck-SEASON-feature-may2020

2020 DUCK HUNTING SEASON SEES FEW SHOOTERS.
But sadly, also fewer birds.

AS THE VICTORIAN Labor government comes under increasing pressure to stop enabling the barbaric slaughter of Australia’s beautiful water birds for some people’s idea of fun, duck defenders are more organised than ever.

They have told us at the Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC) there are few birds to be seen this year on the state’s plentiful wetlands. Mercifully, there are also few shooters in 2020 — so far. (The Victorian season is supposed to end June 8 and before that regional activists worry about motels opening up and more shooters settling in with doubtful social distancing).

Why do politicians support this carnage? Traditionally, votes and money. A recent government figure claims about 48,000 licensed game hunters in Victoria. Less than half may be duck shooters. Field and Game Australia represent a percentage and published figures indicate that active shooters may be on the decrease.

A 2018 ABC report quoted former NSW Premier Bob Carr (who banned duck hunting in NSW) advising Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to stop worrying and ban the slaughter. Andrews hasn’t, despite Victorian Labor MPs voting to stop the hunt.

(Click on the READ MORE links to get the full reports, all worth a look.)

Bob Carr urges Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to ban duck hunting
[READ MORE]

On May 20, the ABC (on its website and TV) published drone footage of drug-taking by an armed hunter. That’s illegal. Mind you, the drinking before the shooting is considered an unremarkable part of Australian wildlife-killing culture. Also published was documented evidence of shooters ignoring hunting rules, eg footage of an injured duck thrown to dogs. Or not bothering with euthanasing injured birds, widely reported every year.

Victorian duck shooter’s guns seized and licence suspended after drone spies suspect behaviour
[READ MORE]

The game authority and its policing aids in Victoria have for years come under sustained criticism, but the status quo remains — almost no policing or prosecution, except for policing of demonstrators. Rescuers reported that a person was fined at Hospital Swamp near Geelong on 23 May for rescuing a sick swan. Fine around $1,000. Hospital Swamp is part of internationally protected RAMSAR wetland Lake Connewarre.

Victorian Agriculture Minister ‘very concerned’ after leaked report claims hunters are regularly breaking law
[READ MORE]

South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory also enable wild bird slaughter. There is no evidence things are better in those states.

Scientists have told authorities as recently as November 2019 that waterbird populations have fallen by up to 90 percent in the eastern states thanks to drought and mismanagement of water policies. That still did not move the executive of the states approving bird hunting.

Waterbird population has fallen as much as 90 percent in Australia’s east, shows 37-year study
[READ MORE]

The story from the front line, and have your say

Veteran water bird defender Laurie Levy gave AWPC this report (below) in May. It looks back at how a lengthy campaign built, and what duck defenders saw this year in Victoria. Will it all be too late? Not if enough citizens keep the pressure on.

> VIEW FULL POST HERE


Related pictures and stories from past Australian Duck Hunting seasons:

  • Ramsar? Really?  by Creative Cowboy Films  [VIEW]
  • Ugly Duckling  by Creative Cowboy Films  [VIEW]

HAVE YOUR SAY

Contact, or write to your nearest Australian Conservation or Welfare Minister.

[ DOWNLOAD PDF ]

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