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Deer and wild pigs excluded from wildlife review

Media statement
For immediate release
Tuesday, 1 August 2006

Deer and wild pigs excluded from wildlife review

While acknowledging the usefulness of the Government's review of wildlife protection, United Future MP Gordon Copeland has been quick to point out that deer, chamois, tahr and pigs are not included in this review.

According to Mr Copeland, "the real issue in terms of the classification of wildlife in New Zealand is the status of 'recreationally valued wild animals' such as deer, chamois, tahr and pigs. These animals are currently listed under Schedule 6 of the Wildlife Act 1953, which is the only schedule not covered within this review.

"United Future is currently working with the Labour Government through the confidence and supply agreement to address the historical anomaly that sees 'recreationally valued wild animals' managed as 'noxious pests' while far more destructive creatures such as polecats, rats, stoats, ferrets and weasels sit on Schedule 5 as simply 'wild animals'.

"When the Wildlife Act and its schedules were first drawn up in 1953 it was estimated there were 2.5 million deer in New Zealand. That number has dropped to a manageable and sustainable level of around 250 000.

"To have deer, chamois, tahr and pigs classified as more dangerous and destructive than polecats, rats, stoats, ferrets and weasels is crazy," said Mr Copeland.

"The reclassification of 'recreationally valued wild animals' is an issue that United Future feels very strongly about. To many New Zealanders deer and wild pigs not only represent a worthwhile and rewarding hunting experience but they are also important sources of food.

"I hope that the Government's review will begin a process which will once and for all reassess the place that 'recreationally valued wild animals' have in New Zealand," concluded Mr Copeland.


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