A spokesman for the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party has said that duck hunters serve to protect crops and the environment, and that claims by some that the practice is cruel or that bird numbers are dangerously low are baseless.
Adrian Pickin made the comments ahead of the opening of the duck hunting season on Saturday, and as Greens politicians and other groups renewed calls for the sport's banning in Tasmania like several other states.
"Any animal that gets to a population where it causes trouble, like to farmers in crops like lettuces of cherries, needs to be controlled," he said.
There was also no evidence that duck populations were at critically low levels, or that the sport was any crueler than slaughtering animals in an abattoir, he said.
But Tasmanian Greens wildlife spokesperson Rosalie Woodruff said many of the ducks shot during this year's hunt, from March 11 to to June 12, "would suffer a long and painful death".
"Allowing the hunting season to continue each year is not only cruel, it threatens the existence of native duck populations. Eastern seaboard duck populations have crashed to 10% or less of long-term numbers," she said.
A spokesperson said the Department of Natural Resources and Environment has "has strict regulations and procedures in place to ensure hunting of ducks is humane and sustainable".
A bag limit of ten ducks per day is in place during the season.
Jan Davis, chief executive officer of RSPCA Tasmania, said there was no definitive data on numbers of some of the five species.
"But the information we have is that there are five species that you're allowed to shoot ... and those numbers are in long-term downward trend," she said.
Mr Pickins disputed that assertion.
Ms Davis said the RSPCA was calling for duck hunting to be phased out over a number of years.
Duck hunting is banned in all states except Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.
Victoria recently reduced its daily bag limit to four, and shortened the duration of its season.
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