INDEPENDENT NEWS

Pest Control Is Not Just A Game

Published: Thu 22 Nov 2001 09:46 AM
Contact: Sue Maturin, Otago/Southland Field Officer. Tel: 03 477 9677 5092
Karli Thomas, Biosecurity Awareness Officer. Tel: 04 385 7374
Forest and Bird considers it inappropriate that the Minister of Biosecurity is today launching a new lobby group that includes organisations opposed to the control of conservation pests and Tb vectors.
Forest and Bird spokesperson Sue Maturin, says the Hon Jim Sutton, as Minister of Biosecurity and Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, should not be associated with such a group.
The lobby group 'Game and Forest' is a coalition of hunting organisations that include deer stalkers, game estates, hunting guides, the Safari Club International and the Deer Farmers Association.
Feral deer spread bovine TB, an agricultural disease which the Animal Health Board spends $54 million each year to control.
"Deer, pigs, thar and chamois are all pests just like rats, possums, stoats, and ferrets", Ms Maturin says. Like possums, deer carry bovine TB and are a threat to agriculture, human health and conservation.
Deer hunters, in their efforts to protect their hobby, have been frustrating possum control programmes and Animal Health Board operations, stopping the Department of Conservation and Regional Councils from undertaking proper pest control, and illegally releasing deer.
Deer must be controlled to protect our native biodiversity and prevent the spread of disease to livestock. Hunters don't kill enough deer to keep our native forests healthy, and recreational hunting alone is not a suitable pest control option.
ENDS
For further information contact:
Sue Maturin Phone: 03 477 9677
Email: suem@earthlight.co.nz

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