FIELD and Game Australia has backed the magistrate who handed down convictions and fines against two anti-duck hunting activists.
David Mould and Kelly Lachman were convicted and fined about $9000 each on charges from the opening weekend of the 2010 Victorian ducking hunting season.
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These charges included hindering and obstructing legitimate and licensed hunters, indecent language, and theft.
Considerable fines and court costs were awarded against the pair.
"This should send a strong warning to others that regardless of their opinion on duck hunting, any law breaking or illegal protest activities that hinder and obstruct legitimate licensed hunters will not be tolerated,'' FGA chief executive Rod Drew said.
"A number of protesters are repeat offenders who continue to disregard the safety of both themselves and others by deliberately causing dangerous situations on the wetlands.
"I hope the convictions and fines against Mr Mould and Ms Lachman are a strong deterrent to others who may be considering illegal action during the 2013 duck season.
"FGA has been concerned for years that the extreme protest activities by some individuals could result in serious injury or death.
"I hope that the new regulations that were introduced by the Victorian Government late last year to curb illegal protest activity, leads to increased safety for everyone when the 2013 season begins on March 16.''
The duck season will run from March 16 to June 10.
More than 14,000 people have now voted in a massive response to a weekly times now poll asking whether the duck hunting season should continue.
Animals Australia has joined the RSPCA in asking members to vote in the poll.
Field and Game Australia have done likewise.
The gap has narrowed over the past few days on ''Should duck hunting be banned'' but 60 per cent still say the season should continue.