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Special Interest > Hunting and Shooting
Duck hunting protesters fined for hindering and harassing hunters, theft
Duck hunting protesters fined for hindering and harassing hunters, theft 8 February, 2013 - Victoria DSE
Two duck hunting protesters have been convicted on 40 charges between them relating to incidents on the opening weekend of duck hunting season in 2010 at Dowds Morass State Game Reserve near Sale.
The 33 year old female from Burwood was fined $2,100 and the 32 year old male from Watsonia was fined $1,600 in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on the 29th of January 2013. Each was also ordered to pay $7574 in costs to the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE).
The charges, filed by the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE), arose out of a series of incidents involving interactions between the accused and three groups of hunters. They included continuously hindering and harassing hunters, and being on the wetland at restricted times.
Victoria Police also issued charges against the two, concerning use of offensive language and theft of signs on public land concerning the same three groups of hunters.
The hearing was held over 16 days because of a large number of witnesses.
In passing his judgement, the Magistrate said: their actions were illegal, in major respects they knew it to be so, and in all respects they should have been aware they were at risk of acting contrary to the law.
The responsibility for managing Victoria’s games species, including the management of duck hunting was transferred over to the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) in 2012.
The Director of Game Victoria at DPI, Simon Toop, welcomed the court findings.
He said new regulations which came into force late last year aim to create a safer situation on wetlands during the duck hunting season.
“Hunters should be allowed to go about their lawful activity without being hindered, harassed, abused and having their property stolen” Mr Toop said.
“The new regulations strengthen the previous laws and protestors should abide by them to ensure everyone’s safety.”