“People Like Deer”.
“People Like Deer”.
With the announcement of the Department of Conservation Policy Statement on Deer Control, The Minister of Conservation, Hon Sandra Lee has totally ignored the views of the general public and hunters in particular.
“The more than 50,000 private and commercial deer hunters in New Zealand offered their help and support for deer control through a deer management system. By releasing this policy statement, the Minister has refused this offer,” said Garry Ottmann, Conservation Projects Convener for Safari Club International NZ.
A huge opportunity to harness the resources and goodwill of one of the largest users of public land at negligible cost to the public has been wasted. This policy has been developed without any consultation with hunter groups and flies in the face of sound science, public opinion and more than 70 per cent of the submissions on this issue.
“People overwhelmingly supported that deer are a resource to be managed and where necessary controlled,” said Garry Ottmann
Deer on public land are projected to be worth more than $170 million to our economy and by acknowledging the reality that deer are a resource not a pest, there would be a real opportunity to harness this resource and achieve some real conservation benefits.
This policy signals a return to old exterminationist views that have no place in the 21st century. It is merely pandering to a minority of extremists that have lost touch with the reality of New Zealand in the new millennium. Everyone who enjoys actually using our outdoors should be concerned at the direction this policy signals.
“I wonder at the wisdom of putting in place a policy that does not have the support of the major users of public land and harvesters of deer. Such policy is unlikely to be durable in the long term”, said Garry Ottmann.
The previous Minister of Conservation, Hon Dr Nick Smith had a far more enlightened view of deer and was willing to consider a regime that could satisfy the realistic concerns of most people without alienating a significant sector of society.
“I think this
Minister should seriously question the advice she is
currently being given by DOC and her other advisors. Why not
take an opportunity to actually talk to the people?
Privately, many within DOC don’t even support this policy” he added