New regulations setting the rules for game hunting in Victoria are now in effect, Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh announced today.
"There is a long tradition of game hunting and conservation in Victoria and the new regulations provide the legal framework for ethical, safe and humane hunting practices," Mr Walsh said.
"The updated Wildlife (Game) Regulations 2012 come into effect today, building on the previous regulations.
"The state's hunting regulations have a sunset clause that requires them to be re-made every 10 years.
"The updated regulations have taken into account feedback received from the Victorian community during an open public consultation process."
Mr Walsh said there were 42,000 licensed hunters in Victoria, an increase of 41 per cent during the past decade. Game hunting generates around $96 million of economic activity annually.
"The updated regulations strike the right balance between the needs of hunters, environmental conservation, animal welfare and public safety," Mr Walsh said.
"The majority of the existing arrangements for game hunting in Victoria remain unchanged, however adjustments have been made to reduce unnecessary red tape, protect public safety and keep pace with changing technology.
"Concerns were raised in public submissions about public safety for enforcement officers, protesters and hunters on waterways during the annual duck season.
"The regulations have been updated with extended safety zones and exclusion times for the protection of all persons who are active throughout the open season.
"Contrary to some claims, protestors will still be able to access wetlands during the duck season between 10am and two hours prior to sundown. These measures are for the safety of all involved."
More details on the new regulations can be found at: www.dpi.vic.gov.au/game-hunting