Victoria should ban all recreational duck hunting, an inquiry has recommended following a long-term decline in native bird populations.
The parliamentary committee investigating Victoria's native bird hunting arrangements tabled a report to state parliament on Thursday calling for a ban to begin next year.
"The committee has made a recommendation to end recreational native bird hunting on all Victorian public and private land as of 2024," chair and Labor MP Ryan Batchelor wrote.
"This would bring Victoria in line with many other Australian jurisdictions, including those throughout the eastern seaboard.
"The committee's rationale is driven by the considerable environmental evidence of long-term decline in native bird populations, and a worsening outlook as our climate continues to change."
Mr Batchelor said native bird populations have been falling over the last 40 years because of habitat loss fuelled by water mismanagement, climate change, repeated drought and fluctuating weather cycles.
"Although Victoria has experienced a significant increase in water surface and fuller wetlands in the most recent La Nina cycle, we have not experienced the same rebound in bird populations," he added.
"This is an ongoing trend."
Estimates of wounding rates of ducks ranged from six per cent to 40 per cent each year, equating to at least 15,700 ducks during the 2022 season.
"Bird hunting also involves inherent wounding rates that cannot be completely avoided, regardless of hunter skill and best intentions," Mr Batchelor said.
Converting state game reserves for duck hunting into places where people can camp and fish and retaining traditional owner hunting rights were also among the report's eight recommendations.
The report found there was little data on the direct economic impacts of native bird hunting in Victoria, although the state receives about $4 million a year in game licence revenues and another $4.4 million in gun licence revenue from 58,000 hunters.
Victoria pumps public funding into monitoring bird populations and compliance of hunting but the report noted policing was almost an impossible task.
"Victoria's land available for recreational native bird hunting is geographically vast and dispersed," it said.
"This makes it improbable for the Game Management Authority to enforce compliance with hunting regulations with the resources they have."
Minority reports from the nine-member committee were also completed by Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party MP Jeff Bourman and the coalition.
First-term Animal Justice Party MP and committee member Georgie Purcell, who has been a volunteer duck rescuer for more than a decade, said she hoped Victoria was one step closer to banning the practice.
"For the so-called 'progressive' state - we are anything but that, when it comes to the treatment of our wildlife," she told AAP.
The Victorian government is required to respond to the report within six months and Premier Daniel Andrews has indicated his government's response would not be immediate.
Electrical Trades Union state secretary Troy Gray told the inquiry in June that any duck hunting ban in Victoria would trigger a mass walk-off on projects across the state.
Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania are the only states where duck shooting is permitted.
Western Australia, NSW and Queensland banned it in 1990, 1995 and 2005 respectively.
Australian Associated Press