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Ferret Ban Supported - Greens

28 March 2002

Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today welcomed the Government's decision to ban the sale, distribution and breeding of ferrets in New Zealand, saying the ban was an important conservation measure.

"Ferrets and stoats are doing terrible damage to the survival chances of some of our rarest species such as kiwi and penguins. If we are to try and reduce the number of ferrets in the wild then we need to remove the chance of them escaping from captivity," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"We acknowledge that this decision will not please everyone but as a nation we must put the survival chances of our rare species ahead of the desire of some people to keep ferrets as pets."

Ms Fitzsimons said the Greens also shared SPCA animal welfare concerns at the keeping of ferrets in cages.

"In my own electorate 20 weka that were released into the Karangahake Gorge were wiped out by ferrets in 1996. Overseas feral populations have been established as a result of pets escaping.

"Existing pets and farms will be exempted from this ban. The Greens believe this is a fair measure that in the long run will be of benefit to our country's unique biodiversity.

"We congratulate and support the Conservation Minister for this conservation focussed initiative."

Ends

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