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Deer Deal Unacceptable

July 18, 2001 - Wellington

MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE USE

Deer Deal Unacceptable


The Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society is disappointed that the Animal Health Board has given in to a vociferous deer stalker lobby and potentially compromised its 1080 poison operation in the Blue Mountains.

Forest and Bird Southern Field Officer Sue Maturin said that “aerial drops of 1080 poison are the most economic and effective way to kill possums quickly over large areas of steep country such as in the Blue Mountains.”

“Ground based operations are time consuming and can cost more than double that of an aerial operation. The Animal Health Board should not be paying more just to save deer.”

“The deer stalkers are showing a lack of concern about the impacts of Tb on New Zealand’s economy and for the welfare of New Zealand’s native wildlife. They are simply campaigning to save deer.”

“The control of pests and disease in New Zealand is being compromised by an unreasonable and sectional interest,” she said.

“1080 poison is the safest and most effective way to kill a range of conservation pests and Tb disease carriers such as possums, deer, stoats, ferrets, and cats and rats as well. Alternative poisons such as cyanide are not as effective in killing pests.”

“Possums compete for habitat with native birds, they eat birds eggs and chicks and kill native trees. Deer prevent the regeneration of broad-leaved trees and reduce natural biodiversity. The combination of deer and possums is disastrous for conservation because they radically change the vegetative structure and composition of our forests,” Sue Maturin said.

Forest and Bird supports 1080 as the most effective tool for killing pests. Numerous studies have shown that the benefits for native birds from using 1080 to kill pests far outweigh the risks of some individual birds and insects dying.

“Overall bird populations benefit as 1080 operations result in increased food supply and decreased predation.”

“Deer and possums are a major threat to our economy as they spread Bovine Tb. New Zealanders and conservation should not be held to ransom by people wanting to shoot deer for their own pleasure,” Sue Maturin said.


Notes for Editor

The Animal Health Board are planning a 1080 aerial possum poisoning operation in the Blue Mountains in South Otago to prevent the spread of Bovine tuberculosis to farm animals, however recreational deer hunters want the poison drop to be restricted to ground based possibly using cyanide, rather than an aerial 1080 operation. (See ODT 16.7.2001 and 18.7.2001)

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