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Deer Recognised As Serious Pests

27.2.2001

Deer Recognised As Serious Pests Not A Game Resource

The Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society has welcomed the Department of Conservation Policy Statement on Deer Control, released by the Minister of Conservation, Hon Sandra Lee today.

Responding to the Minister of Conservation’s release, Forest and Birds Southern Conservation Officer said;

“The Policy Statement is unequivocal in its recognition that deer pose a significant threat to native forests and grasslands and that deer can not be managed as a game resource.”

“At long last Government and the Department of Conservation have recognised the severity of deer as a conservation pest and that recreational and commercial hunting can not adequately reduce deer numbers.”

“This is a huge step forward, and we are mightily relieved that the Minister of Conservation has not proceeded with devolving deer management to the deer hunters as was discussed by the previous Minister, Dr Nick Smith.” Sue Maturin said.

“The Policy signals that the Department of Conservation will take a much more proactive approach to deer control. However the Society is disappointed that DoC’s priority for deer control will be restricted to outstanding areas and representative ecosystems rather than across the full range of ecosystems on the Conservation estate.”

“Deer are eating out the understory of native forests everywhere and are preventing them from regenerating. There is virtually no regeneration of broadleaved trees anywhere in New Zealand. If we want to maintain our forests we have to get rid of deer,” Sue Maturin said.

“We are also disappointed that the Policy does not call for an immediate review of the existing Recreational Hunting Areas, and it has not addressed the bizarre protection accorded to some deer herds on conservation lands.”

The Society is however pleased that the hunting permit system is to be streamlined and Sue Maturin said, “we look forward to the day when hunting permits will not be needed.”

“Hunters want more opportunities to shoot deer and conservationists want more deer killed. The more deer shot the happier we are.” Sue Maturin said.

ENDS

For information contact:
Sue Maturin 03 477-9677ph(w) 03 4876-125(H) or 025 222- 5092

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