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Minister's condemnation of seal killing "hypocritical"

Minister's condemnation of seal killing "hypocritical"

Conservation Minister Nick Smith’s condemnation of the killing of 23 seals near Kaikoura as an ‘obscene crime’ is ironic and hypocritical when his department kills countless native birds and other animals a year in 1080 poison drops, says the New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association.

National President Tim McCarthy said under the circumstances it was ‘a bit rich’ for the minister to make such strong pronouncements against ‘senseless and deliberate violence against animals’.

“The minister refers to the deaths of a small number of seals as ‘an obscene crime that would offend all New Zealanders who care for our native wildlife.’ Yet he knows perfectly well that huge numbers of native birds and invertebrates are killed in every time this deadly poison is broadcast willy-nilly into our native bush. How ironic is that?”

He said that while there might be a slight difference between a wilful attack on the seals and the accidental by-kill of birds in poisoning operations targeting at possums, the outcome was the same. “In our view such gross mismanagement of pest control by raining deadly poison down from the skies is just as reprehensible as a deliberate and wanton act of destruction. It is just as senseless and totally unnecessary when there are plenty of other less harmful options available if only the Department of Conservation would open its eyes to them.

“It is tragic that the minister and other influential people such as parliamentary commissioner for the environment Jan Wright continue to flaunt their obligations to protect nature,” he concluded.


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