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Criticism of Using Lead Shot

1 June 2005

Fish & Game Rejects Criticism of Using Lead Shot for Goose Culls

Fish & Game New Zealand said today that it rejected the criticism by some Central South Island game bird hunters for using lead shot during a recent Canada Goose cull.

Under the new non toxic shot regulations game bird hunters cannot use lead shot in 12 gauge shotguns when hunting within 200 metres of waterways three metres wide.

“For our culls from helicopters and on river beds, in all cases where practicable, we use steel (non toxic) shot,” says Jay Graybill Fish & Game spokesperson. “But in some cases because of the risk of ricochet from river beds hitting helicopter rotor blades, we cannot use steel and we use lead. We cannot put human life at risk.”

“This is a ‘cull’ not a ‘hunt’. It does not come under the auspices of the annual game notices to which the non toxic shot regulations apply. The cull is authorised under Section 54 of the Wildlife Act with a permit that allows ‘the control of birds’,” says Mr Graybill.

“A small number of Central South Island game bird hunters are having difficultly in accepting the nationwide change over from lead to non toxic shot this year, and have used this cull as an opportunity to complain. The reality is that the use of non toxic shot has been widely accepted by the majority of hunters around the country during the five year long transition period, and Fish & Game has only come across a very few cases of non compliance around the rest of the country.”

“Secondly, some hunters have to accept that there is a need to control Canada Goose numbers in the interests of the farming community. Despite the very good efforts from Central South Island game bird hunters over Summer and Autumn they have not been able to reduce the birds to agreed management limits and therefore Fish & Game has had to organize special culls.”

“If a few game bird hunters are unhappy about these necessary culls, and the different shooting techniques required for culls - what do they want? Large flocks of Geese affecting pasture and Canada Geese losing their special game bird status?”

ENDS

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