The Sunday Herald Sun yesterday was silent on the duck season opening. But an article was written. The page-two piece was pulled at last minute and replaced with an article about the Adele concert.
A story about a recreation that brings $99 million to the economy each year, $46 million of which is spent on hunting trips, was replaced by an entertainment article.
What’s more perplexing is that the article that was pulled has been obtained by SSAA Victoria and it contained no record of the comments the Association provided for the story.
That article has now been printed verbatim by the Courier Mail online.
The Association contacted the author, Monique Hore, this morning to question her as to why the comments did not appear in the story. Monique said her original story did contain comments from SSAA Victoria but they were removed in the editing process without her knowledge.
SSAA Victoria wants its members to know that the Association put in a lot of time and effort to ensure the Sunday Herald Sun piece contained accurate and balanced information. Below are the questions asked by the reporter and the answers the Association provided in writing well before the deadline.
Sometimes it feels like banging your head against a brick wall. The best way to show your displeasure is to stop buying the Herald Sun and Sunday Herald Sun.
Additional quotes: All reports from our members have been really positive. Hunting success varied throughout the state due to local conditions but most hunters took birds home. There were plenty of ducks around the Gippsland region this morning, and numbers were high up near Cohuna as well.
Hunter behaviour across the board was excellent as reported by our members and the authorities on the ground. Game Management Authority reported really good compliance across the state.
Families across Victoria sat down to fresh, organic duck last night and that’s what we love.
Why should Victoria continue to have duck hunting?
Duck hunting provides a great boost to Victoria economy each year, particularly in regional areas. Duck hunters spend $99 million per annum in Victoria on their sport. More than $40 million of that is spent while away on duck hunting trips.
How do you respond to animal welfare groups that call duck hunting cruelty?
Duck hunting is not for everyone, just as horse racing or basketball is not for everyone. But I do want to emphasise that hunting is no crueller than what happens in nature.
Hunters abide by ethical codes; they are licensed and tested; they respect the environment and the animals; and the activity is heavily regulated.
Should Victorians be able to shoot without protesters?
Duck hunters are licensed and responsible people who are participating in a legal activity. They should have the right to participate in that legal activity without being harassed by extremist activists.
(On the six arrests)
Some of these activists have shown no respect for the licensed game hunters and they have shown no respect for the law; putting themselves in harm’s way and illegally entering specific hunting areas during prohibited times.
Animal welfare groups have reported banned species, including the freckled duck, were shot in Marsh near Kerang today. Is that disappointing?
Duck hunters undergo the Waterfowl Identification Test prior to obtaining their Game Licence for duck hunting. This means they have demonstrated that they can identify species of duck in flight and on land, and incorrect identification rarely occurs.
SSAA Victoria spoke with game compliance officers and the Game Management Authority yesterday (Saturday) and has received no confirmation of any freckled ducks being shot. If we hear otherwise, through the correct channels, SSAA Victoria will take it very seriously. We will be the first to condemn any illegal shooting of banned duck species.