Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Forest and Bird sounds caution on possum fur idea

The Forest and Bird Protection Society is not enthusiastic about proposals
floated by Alliance leader Jim Anderton to provide government assistance to
the possum fur industry.

Forest and Bird's Conservation Director, Kevin Smith, said effective possum
control for conservation purposes or TB control could not be achieved by
commercial possum trappers.

"Possum trapping can only be profitable, at the low prices paid by the fur
industry of a couple of dollars a skin, when possum numbers are high. Yet
possum numbers need to be reduced to very low levels to provide effective
protection for native forests or to eradicate TB-carrying possums."

Mr Smith said he was a commercial possum trapper in the late 70s when fur
prices were ten times higher than today.

"Even at those high prices, possum trappers needed to farm areas, moving on
once numbers dropped."

"The idea of sending out unemployed people to trap possums for an export fur
industry sounds great in theory. But in practice, this would really just
subsidise a marginally viable industry without achieving forest conservation
or animal health goals."

"Over the last ten years regional councils and the Department of
Conservation have become very efficient at reducing possum numbers by eighty
to ninety percent in areas targeted for control."

Mr Smith said the current possum control operations already provided
significant employment opportunities but it was important their work was
targeted to areas where the possum impacts were greatest.

"If the government adopted the possum fur industry's proposal for a $1 a
possum bounty, they could squander millions of dollars and achieve few
benefits for conservation or for animal health."

Mr Smith said possum control nowadays was not totally reliant on aerial 1080
but made considerable use of contract ground trappers.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Charlotte Graham: Empowering Communities To Act In A Disaster

The year of record-breaking natural disasters means that in the US, as in New Zealand, there’s a conversation happening about how best to run the emergency management sector and what philosophies best engage and protect communities in the event of a crisis.

How much of the responsibility for a community’s safety in a natural disaster is the Government’s, and how much can be left up to the community themselves? And how do we ensure none of our most vulnerable residents are left behind? More>>


CPAG Report: The Further Fraying Of The Welfare Safety Net

New Zealand’s welfare system has undergone a major transformation during the past three decades. This process has seriously thwarted the original intent of the system, which was to provide a decent standard of living for all New Zealanders in times of need... More>>


Signage, Rumble Strips, Barriers: Boost For State Highway Road Safety

Boost for road safety this summer Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter today announced a short term boost in road safety funding this summer and signalled a renewed focus from the Government on introducing safer speed limits. More>>


Risks & Adaptation: Cheaper To Cut Emissions Than Deal With Climate Change

The cost of climate change to New Zealand is still unknown, but a group of experts tasked with plugging the country's information gaps says it will likely be significant and it would be cheaper to cut greenhouse emissions than simply adapting to those changes. More>>


BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>





Featured InfoPages