A WIMMERA waste leader has slammed duck hunters after bags of rubbish, including dead birds, were left along the Western Highway at the weekend.
Grampians Central West Waste and Resource Recovery Group executive officer La Vergne Lehmann said large amounts of rubbish and a bag of dead ducks was dumped at a wayside stop at St Helens Plains.
She said the stop was on the corner of the highway and Ross Road.
“I stopped in on my way down to Ballarat on Sunday because this spot has always attracted large amounts of rubbish left by duck hunters at the end of the opening weekend each year,” she said.
Ms Lehmann said the rubbish included a bag of dead ducks that she believed were shot illegally.
“I see rubbish left every year but I have never seen a bag of dead ducks before,” she said.
“The ducks clearly had no breast meat taken from them and hence have been shot illegally.
“Hunters are supposed to remove breast meat off the duck so at least part of it is used and the ducks are not just shot for the sake of it.”
Ms Lehmann said most other wayside stops between Horsham and Ararat had a lot of rubbish and overflowing bins.
However, she said none were as bad as the stop near St Helens Plains.
“Clearly these are irresponsible duck hunters who give others a bad name,” she said.
Ms Lehmann said rubbish being left by duck hunters after the opening weekend was an ongoing problem that happened every year.
“Leaving rubbish in the way they have is illegal dumping as the bin is clearly overflowing,” she said.
A Game Management Authority spokesman has reminded all Victorians to act safely, responsibly and legally for the remainder of the duck hunting season.
“Both duck hunters and protesters generally obeyed the regulations, however there were some disappointing exceptions,” he said.
“While hunters present at wetlands patrolled by officers complied with the new starting times, a number of other offences were detected by compliance officers.
“We said in the lead-up to duck hunting season that hunters who did the wrong thing risked having their firearms licences and their firearms confiscated, and we are disappointed some people didn’t heed this warning.”
The spokesman said one hunter’s firearm was seized after taking protected wildlife.
“Three hunters had their firearms seized for hunting in a closed area and five other hunters will receive infringement notices, including two hunters who failed to comply with new laws requiring hunters to make all reasonable attempts to retrieve a downed bird.”
Overall, there was 2156 hunters present at patrolled wetlands across Victoria at the weekend.
The spokesman said people could report any illegal hunting to the authority through its website www.gma.vic.gov.au or by calling the customer service centre on 136 186 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.