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Snail death belittles transfer plan

Snail death belittles transfer plan

Species extinction: coal at any cost

Save Happy Valley Coalition
8th September 2006

The Save Happy Valley Coalition is appalled by the first death of a captive Powelliphanta "Augustus" snail – living in a fridge because of state-owned coal company Solid Energy's mining operations.

"The snails have started to die in captivity. This was expected, given the rate at which Solid Energy have been taking this species from their habitat, given that they are still in domestic fridges in Hokitika, and given that there are no proper captivity facilities in sight," said Frances Mountier, spokesperson for the Save Happy Valley Coalition.

"Department of Conservation scientists said that the only way to ensure the survival of the species was to leave it on its last remaining 5ha of habitat, not moldering in a fridge. Second generation snails have consistently died in captivity – in fact there is no evidence they can live anywhere apart from their current habitat.

"This is species extinction and this is the Government's fault. This snail is only the beginning; Solid Energy is applying for permits to kill kiwi and a different species of snail within the Stockton Mine. Where is the public consultation on this? Why aren't New Zealanders being asked if killing our ancient giant snails and kiwi – our national icon – is something a government-owned company should do?

"The government has decided that Solid Energy be allowed to continue its coal mining, no matter what the cost. This drive for 'progress' and 'economic growth' is destroying the very things that people value most about this country."


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