Calls for duck hunt ban as SA season opens

·2-min read

South Australia's duck hunting season has opened amid renewed calls for an end to the "inherent cruelty".

The 2021 season runs from Saturday until June 27 with a four-duck daily limit and bans on the taking of some species.

Hunters must also have a permit, with restrictions on where shooting can occur.

Regardless, the RSPCA says South Australia should follow NSW, Queensland and Western Australia in banning the "violent recreational activity".

Its animal welfare advocate Rebekah Eyers says the season has been approved despite evidence of declining duck numbers.

She says the state government own waterfowl survey recently reported duck numbers at a quarter of the long-term average.

"Conservationists have been ringing alarm bells for years, but our government doesn't seem to hear them," Ms Eyers said.

"Three of the five species hunters are permitted to shoot this season are in decline."

Greens MP Tammy Franks has introduced a bill to state parliament that would end what she said was a "relic of the past".

"Duck hunting is nothing but recreational cruelty," Ms Franks said.

"Why we continue to perpetuate yet another so-called sport based on the suffering of animals is beyond me."

But when the season was announced, Field and Game Australia said it was based on "sound principles of game management".

Hunting and Conservation Manager Glenn Falla said the length of the season and its restrictions "may disappoint some".

But he said hunters needed to look at long-term outcomes to be able to "sustainably harvest ducks well into the future".

"It will rain again, waterfowl will breed, and seasons will return to normal provided we are united with the common cause of conservation," Mr Falla said at the time.

"We need to protect and further improve habitat for all to enjoy within the community."