Victoria

Labor federal MP Kelvin Thomson calls for an end to duck hunting in Victoria

Federal MP Kelvin Thomson has called on the Victorian government to cancel the 2016 duck season and put an end to an "inhumane" practice.

Duck season is usually between March to June of every year.

Mr Thomson, who is the longstanding Labor member for Wills, tweeted he had written to the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, Lisa Neville, "urging" the government to cancel the season.

He said though it was probably the first time that he had called for it in a "formal way", he had been against the practice for many years.

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The message was retweeted 35 times and received support from his followers on Twitter.

Mr Thomson said it was time Victoria followed other states that had put an end to the shooting.

"It is not possible to ensure that birds are killed humanely, and there are inevitably many instances of animal cruelty with each duck season," he said.

"It is also not possible that only legitimate target species are killed. Every year there are numerous examples of endangered species, and species that cannot lawfully be killed, being killed, presumably inadvertently."

He said duck shooting was not a genuine sport and had no place in the modern world.

"The ducks fly around till they are exhausted, and are comparatively easy to shoot," Mr Thomson said.

Mr Thomson, who is set to quit his seat which takes in Coburg, Pascoe Vale and Brunswick, said another crucial reason to cancel this season's shooting was the decline in the duck population.

"The severity of the El Nino drought is such that the number of waterbirds in eastern Australia has dropped to its second lowest level on record, and the number of breeding waterbirds is the lowest number recorded," he said.

"Given this, I urge the government ...(to) give the ducks and other waterbirds a chance to get through what is a particularly tough year in our wetlands without the pressure of being shot at."

Mr Thomson said there was precedence of the government abandoning duck season in the past due to low population.

A spokesperson for Minister Neville said each year the government took independent advice regarding modifications to the duck season.

"[This] considers drought and environmental factors," she said.

"The Minister for Environment is yet to receive that advice."

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