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Author Topic: Illegal duck shooting proves costly  (Read 5918 times)

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Illegal duck shooting proves costly
« on: October 28, 2013, 10:42:42 PM »
Illegal duck shooting proves costly

23 October 2013 -Vic DEPI

A 67 year old Sorrento man is out of pocket by almost $7,500 after being found guilty on one count of shooting at a Freckled Duck, a threatened species.

In the Horsham Magistrates Court last week, the man pleaded not guilty.

However authorised Game officers told the court they and a policeman were patrolling Lake Natimuk on the opening weekend of the 2013 duck season  when, at about 7.35 am on March 17, they saw a Freckled Duck flying south above the lake.

They said they watched the accused man raise his firearm and shoot at the bird.

The officers approached him and when they checked his firearm's ammunition they found he was in possession of toxic shot (lead shotgun shells).  Lead shot has been banned for duck hunting since 2002.

Game officers seized the gun and the toxic shot and then interviewed the accused.

He denied shooting at the Freckled Duck stating he shot at a Grey Teal duck.

The court hearing lasted half a day and the accused was found guilty by Magistrate Lesser.  The man had earlier pleaded guilty to possessing and using toxic shot.

He was, without conviction, fined $3,000 and ordered to pay the Department of Environment and Primary Industries costs of $4,358.68.  His ammunition was forfeited to be destroyed.

After the finding, Magistrate Lesser said the Wildlife Act was a serious piece of legislation and the accused should understand this as he was enjoying the benefits of it when he went hunting.

Director of Game Victoria, Simon Toop, said authorised officers are out working not only on the opening weekend of duck season, but throughout the whole season.

"We want to ensure people do the right thing," Mr Toop said.

"We will continue to work closely with hunters to ensure they are aware of their obligations and comply with the Wildlife Act and its regulations.  It is important that protected and threatened species are not impacted by hunting."

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