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Thursday 23 May 2002

The warning from the UN Environment Programme about species extinction within 30 years means that New Zealand and , indeed the international community, must change its ways and allow commerce to assist where it can, ACT Conservation Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff said today.

"New Zealand was singled out for special mention by the report as likely to loose 15 percent of its native bird species including the kiwi. The Minister of Conservation's response is to perpetuate a failed system by pouring in more money for no result. Instead the Minister chose to ridicule the concept of private stewardship of endangered species when this is the only sensible option available. There is no reason why the private sector should not own, breed and trade in those species that can be practically managed or `farmed'.

"The Minister should put ideology aside and allow commercial expertise to be applied to the survival of our wildlife. The ban on keeping ferrets as pets is nothing more than window dressing to make it appear as though she is addressing the problem of the decimation of New Zealand's wildlife. If the Minister was really serious she would ban cats as they are the real culprit," Gerry Eckhoff said.


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