Gecko Smuggling A Result Of Narrow-Minded Law
News reports of illegal trade of the native Gecko highlight the unintended results of narrow-minded conservation laws, ACT MP Gerry Eckhoff said today.
"Gecko are being smuggled out of the country to sell for $5000 a pair.
"Current law makes smuggling worthwhile by driving up the black-market price. We must allow private conservation of the gecko. While we are about it, we should do the same for weka, kiwi and other native birds.
"A legal Gecko trade in New Zealand would increase the population. Gecko breeders would defend these creatures from predation by cats and mustelids.
"Gecko are not listed under CITES which means trade outside New Zealand can flourish. This quirk of silly lawmaking would be fixed if we opened up trade within our country.
"I support the work of the Customs-MAF Wildlife Enforcement Group because smuggling is likely to be cruel to the animals and to put animal lives at risk.
"However I condemn the narrow-minded thinking that puts our unique wildlife at severe risk," Mr Eckhoff said.