Wildlife service calls for duck hunt ban

Victoria's wildlife emergency service has thrown its support behind a ban on duck hunting as the government considers ending the practice.

The Victorian government is weighing up whether this year's season will go ahead, with a government spokeswoman saying a decision would be made "after thorough consideration".

Wildlife Victoria hoped Premier Daniel Andrews would listen to the nine in 10 Victorians supporting the ban and call an end to duck hunting before a 2023 season was announced, it said.

The service urged the government to be on the "right side of history".

"Each year we see birds, including threatened species, come through the Wildlife Victoria veterinary triage tent and while our team do everything they can to help each individual animal, often the most humane option is euthanasia," chief executive Lisa Palma said.

"Also, almost all deceased birds x-rayed by our veterinarians, after being left in field, are found to have shotgun pellets or shotgun trauma evident."

Duck hunting is banned in Western Australia, NSW and Queensland, with Western Australia's ban dating back to 1990.

More than 262,000 ducks were legally shot and bagged by shooters in 2022, but the figure did not account for the ducks left on the water to die of their wounds, Wildlife Victoria said.

Fewer than 0.5 per cent of Victorians participated in duck hunting and six out of eight native duck species are in significant long-term decline, the service said.