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Farmers condemn deer release ‘idiots’

Farmers condemn deer release ‘idiots’

Federated Farmers joins the Department of Conservation in condemning in the strongest terms the actions of the idiot/s who have released deer in north Taranaki forests.

"DoC’s director-general Lou Sanson called the release of up to 50 sika deer despicable and ‘eco-terrorism’ and we back him on that," the Federation’s Environment and Pest Management spokesman Chris Allen said.

"Whether deliberate release of these animals is to do with an anti-1080, pro-hunting or any other cause, we call on these people to cease their selfishness and use their brains. Farmers, DoC, iwi, environmentalists and the rest of the nation are in a desperate fight against pest animals to head off the serious decline in populations and habitats of many of our native birds," Mr Allen said.

"Are you on the side of the rats, stoats and possums, or our kiwi, kokako and kea?"

A letter had been sent to DoC three weeks ago threatening the deer release as retaliation for 1080 native bird protection and TB eradication campaigns in the district. It’s also possible a hunter is behind the release, though Mr Sanson said hunters have provided strong leads after DoC called on the public for information to help catch the culprit/s.

The deer have been released in forest near to where farmers have been working with other agencies to get rid of rats, stoats and possums and help native forest regeneration to protect kiwi and kokako.

As of this morning, six sika deer had been shot of 15 sighted.

"This is similar to the all-to-regular reports of the illegal release of pigs in bush and forest areas. While deer browse the plants that are key to bird habitat, pigs will go for everything from powelliphanta snails to kiwis if they find the den," Mr Allen said.


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