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Copeland: Open Letter About Arapawa Goats

Gordon Copeland

Wednesday, 26th March 2008

26 March 2008

OPEN LETTER

Dear Sir/Madam,

The controversy over the unique Arapawa Island goats in the Marlborough Sounds, needs resolving by commonsense, practical means.

I am having a meeting with Steve Chadwick, the Minister of Conservation, in early April to look at the situation objectively. I believe it is possible both to preserve a beautiful part of our natural history and at the same time the flora and fauna on that island. Having said that regeneration of native vegetation is flourishing on Arapawa Island and it needs to be determined whether the proposed goat cull is justified or it just policy based on the old dogma of hating so-called "introduced species."

I have been actively promoting proper recognition of wild animals such as wild deer, chamois and tahr and in setting up a government panel to examine the situation.

It needs to be remembered that DNA testing has proven the Arapawa Goats to be a genetically unique breed. They are the descendants of two goats left on the island by Captain James Cook in 1773. We have a duty to safeguard and preserve these goats for all time.

Gordon Copeland MP

ENDS

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