In their desperation anti-hunting activists have launched a personal attack on Field & Game Australia stalwart Gary "Pud" Howard. As an organisation we stand with Gary and feel compelled to add to the public record by acknowledging the substantial contribution he has made to wetland conservation and education.
The water issue raised by the Coalition Against Duck Shooting is a decade old and was dealt with at the time. CADS conveniently ignores Gary's lifelong commitment to the natural environment, his role in driving the Heart Morass Restoration Project and the countless hours he has contributed as a volunteer to restore this important wetland.
The hunters, birdwatchers, bushwalkers and eager school groups who regularly enjoy Heart Morass thank him, so to do the ducks and other native waterfowl, endangered frogs and many other inhabitants of this world class wetland.
Heart Morass would not exist without the commitment of Field & Game Australia, its charitable WET Trust and the efforts of dedicated volunteers led by Gary Howard. FGA and its members have built an enviable reputation for conservation over many decades. Our members get their hands dirty making a practical and valuable contribution to the environment. CADS, the self-appointed saviours of native waterfowl only get their hands dirty slinging mud, they have never lifted a finger to protect, rehabilitate or create habitat. They happily ignore the accepted science that habitat and water are the critical factors for waterfowl populations, not highly regulated and sustainable hunting.
The ongoing efforts of FGA, Wet Trust and our volunteers demonstrate why we are Australia's most surprising conservationists. We won’t stop fighting, no matter how much mud is slung.
FGA raised concerns about a dangerous escalation of CADS activism prior to the 2019 Duck Season commencing. Over Easter this activist organisation continued to promote its "investigative and enforcement" teams being on wetlands. We described this activity pre-season as vigilantism and we will again be asking authorities how they can tolerate activists purporting to be the regulators.
As demonstrated recently, animal rights extremists will invade farms, prevent businesses from operating and disrupt city workers purely for the publicity. They operate with no respect for the law, or the rights and views of others.
FGA continues to work with authorities to address the issues of hunter harassment, both on and off the wetlands, and we will keep members updated on the progress of those discussions.
Dean O'Hara. CEO, Field & Game Australia