Jaclyn Symes has become the Victorian government's voice in defending the practice of duck shooting.
Since the hunting season began a week ago, the Northern Victoria MP and Agriculture Minister has endured a series of questions from fellow MPs opposed to the practice.
Animal Justice Party MP Andy Meddick also introduced a bill to Parliament to ban the recreational shooting of certain birds, which will be debated at a later date.
"I'm doing this for a number of reasons, not least of which is the cruelty that has been documented over the years," he said.
"Recreational duck shooting is cruel, indiscriminate and kills native water birds.
"Animals are left to die on the wetlands."
Mr Meddick said regional towns were "dying for lack of tourism" and duck hunters drove the tourists away from rivers and lakes for three months of the year.
This was the point made by Bundalong resident Sharyn Taylor, who was worried about the safety of children by the river and told The Border Mail on the eve of the season that "deafening sound of multiple weapons firing is frightening".
Greens MP Samantha Ratnam also questioned the Game Management Authority's ability to enforce the rules after opening weekend, "with injured ducks being left to suffer, endangered birds being killed".
Speaking in Parliament this week, Ms Symes said the combination of reducing bag limits and the shooting season length for 2019 would result in 40 per cent fewer duck kills.
"The government understands that there are deeply held and divergent views in relation to this matter, but it is a legal, legitimate recreational activity when, I must stress, the rules are followed," she said.
"People that are opposed to duck shooting have as much right to have conversations with me as those that support duck shooting.
"Overall, behaviour has been good. In fact there were actually more protesters at many of the wetlands than there were shooters (on opening weekend)."
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