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'Feral' ducks 'to be killed by council if locals keep feeding them'

by Finley Chauvel (2020-07-15)

Residents of a Tasmanian town are desperate to save dozens of 'feral' ducks after the local council told homeowners to stop feeding the 'nuisances' and take steps to 'remove or eradicate them'.

Around 200 people have signed a petition to Glenorchy City Council to save the ducks around their homes in Windermere Bay, near Launceston. 

The council said the animals are damaging and 'fouling' private and public areas and asked residents not to feed them.

It also stated that they pose a traffic hazard after several were killed by motor vehicles. 

Duck-loving residents are desperate to save dozens of the 'feral' animals after council sent out a letter to homeowners not to feed the 'nuisances' and take steps to 'remove or eradicate them' (stock image)

The letter refers to the council's Animal Management By-law 2000.

The 'pest management' clause of the by-law states: 'An owner or occupier of a property where pest animals are present, excluding stray animals, must take reasonable action to remove or eradicate them. If you have any inquiries about the place and how to use Thank you for visiting the website of Precision Pest Management. We're located in Virginia Beach, you can make contact with us at our web site. '

Hope Rowley, who started the petition, told Daily Mail Australia she felt outraged by the letter.   

'I am upset because the claims are frivolous yet the Glenorchy City Council cited laws that make provisions for their capture, removal, eradication,' she said.

'I have lived here all my life and the ducks are such gentle and intelligent creatures that bring no harm to anybody or anything.'


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She said the ducks formed a significant part of her childhood in the area.  

'I started the petition and am happy with how many signatures we are receiving,' she said. 

Other residents revealed why they signed the petition.  

'I'm signing because I grow up in the area and the ducks never bothered me one bit. My family still live in the street, and they love the ducks there are nowhere near as many as there was,' one person said.

'You hardly see them crossing the road now and only see them in front yards sometimes. I don't know who has the problem but as far as most people living in that street don't have a problem. The ducks need to be left alone.'

The letter sent to residents by council said that the animals are damaging and 'fouling' private and public areas and asked residents not to feed them

Another said: 'I'd love a duck to come into my property. They eat nasty things in the garden too. Leave these gorgeous animals alone.' 

Others said they loved taking their children to visit the birds.  

Glenorchy Mayor Kristie Johnston told Daily Mail Australia she had written a letter to send to her constituents regarding the confusion.

A preview of the letter obtained by Daily Mail Australia said the letter caused confusion and guaranteed there were no plans to remove or cull ducks from the area.

Hope Rowley, who started the petition, told Daily Mail Australia she felt outraged by the letter she received

'Let me be very clear: Glenorchy Council will not be culling or removing any ducks. This has never been our intention. We understand that the ducks are a feature of the local area and enjoyed by many,' the letter stated. 

'However, we are concerned that if well-meaning residents feed or water the ducks then they are encouraged to leave the foreshore, cross roads and enter private property. 

'By doing this, the ducks are at risk of being hit by a car or attacked by domestic animals like dogs and cats. We are also concerned that feeding ducks human food can be harmful to them. 

'For the health and safety of the ducks, we ask that residents do not encourage them onto your property with food or water. By doing this, you will reduce the likelihood of the ducks causing a nuisance.'