NSW DPI, police and RGA join together to launch new duck hunting initiative in Leeton

POLICE, government agencies and growers have joined forces for a new campaign that takes on ducks. 

The educational and awareness initiative called “Don’t Wing It - be an effective game bird hunter” was launched at the Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia (RGA) headquarters in Leeton recently. 

The initiative has been developed by NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) in partnership with the RGA, NSW Police and a number of hunting organisations to better communicate key messages to hunters and private landholders taking part in DPI’s Native Game Bird Management Program.

DPI game licensing unit (GLU) senior native game bird management officer, Patrick O’Brien, said initiative builds on the effective relationship hunters have with landholders through the native game program, which helps growers manage duck damage to their rice crops.

“’Don’t Wing It’ will help consolidate this successful wildlife management program, now in its fourth year, and further ensure people have access to the correct information to hunt legally, ethically, safely and responsibly,” he said.

Mr O’Brien said the “Don’t Wing It” booklet and associated materials was the result of extensive community and stakeholder consultation across the Riverina.

“The campaign will help people understand the very important rules and regulations when it comes to hunting native ducks in NSW,” he said.

“In particular, people need to know that unlike other Australian states, there is no recreational duck hunting season in NSW.

“Here, native game ducks may only be hunted under a mitigation program, and only for sustainable agricultural management purposes.”

RGA president Jeremy Morton said the campaign was a great way to reach out to landholders and hunters and ensure they embraced the four pillars of the program – to be legal, safe, responsible and ethical while hunting in NSW.

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“It’s a very important program and a great help to our growers, particularly as ducks can cause a lot of damage to our valuable crops,” he said.

GLU compliance officers will be conducting regular checks across the Riverina during the rice growing season to ensure hunters are operating within the guidelines of the program, as well as responding to any reports of illegal hunting or untoward behaviour.

For more information visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/hunting.

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