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Pest-busters gather in Wellington

28 April 2005

Pest-busters gather in Wellington

About 150 researchers and pest managers from around the world will gather in Wellington next week to share their knowledge on controlling animal pests including mice, possums... even camels.

The 13th Australasian Vertebrate Pest Conference will be held at The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa from Monday 2 May until Friday 6 May.

Topics include bovine Tb and the role of ferrets and pigs in spreading it, rabbit control and RHD, bird pests on farms, and fertility control for possums.

The Conference organiser, Landcare Research scientist John Parkes, says the event is a great opportunity for Australian and New Zealand researchers in particular to share their ideas.

“The problem of vertebrate pest impacts on production and conservation is growing on both sides of the Tasman. However, funding for pest research and control is limited. A conference like this raises the profile of issues, and tries to find smarter ways of making money go further.

“Also, New Zealand is a leading light in island conservation, eradicating pest species such as rats, goats and ferrets from islands. People have come from around the world, from Mexico and Ecuador for example, to learn about this issue.”

The conference will be opened by the Minister for Rural Affairs and Associate Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. The Minister and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry officials will discuss MAF’s new responsibilities for coordinating pest management in New Zealand.

Other topics to be covered include:

Using baits to deliver RHD to rabbits (underway in Australia, and being considered here) Impacts of rabbit grazing in Central Otago since RHD Bird pests on farms Applying cooking oil to eggs of pest birds to prevent hatching Toxic bait avoidance by mice Koi carp in the Waikato River Pest control for protecting our endangered banded dotterels Contingency plans in the event that foot and mouth disease reaches Australia Australia’s wild dogs and foxes Australia’s feral camel problem …and many others.

The 13th Australasian Vertebrate Pest Conference Monday May 2 – Friday May 6 The Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa

Media are welcome to attend the conference at any time. A programme is attached.

Full conference proceedings with details on papers presented can be downloaded from


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