Thousands of ducks, geese and swans will be killed or left injured by hunters when duck shooting season starts on Saturday, 5 May.
Our tranquil waterways will erupt in gunfire, slaughter and injury, says SAFE campaigns manager Marianne Macdonald.
Native species will be amongst the casualties, says Macdonald, since it is legal to shoot Pukeko, Paradise Shelduck, Grey Duck and Shoveler.
The action of shotguns leads to high rates of injury as well as death.
“As hundreds of tiny metal pellets spread into the air, many birds are not killed instantly but are instead left wounded, only to die a slow and painful death.”
“Even when protected species are not themselves targeted by duck shooters, the barrage of shotgun fire on the waterways they inhabit can cause them severe stress and could impact their breeding viability.”
Duck shooting is, for the most part, a recreational activity in New Zealand. If there is any reason to reduce certain bird populations, which is often not the case, there are humane alternatives to shooting such as collection of eggs in areas which are overpopulated that will reduce population numbers over time.
“SAFE will continue to speak out against duck shooting until this outdated blood sport is illegal in New Zealand.”