Farmers on-board with predator-free vision
Federated Farmers Taranaki President Donald McIntrye says today’s announcement of $11.7 million of government funding for Taranaki’s war against possums, stoats and rats is "amazing news".
"Farmers have been working with the regional council on the Self Help possum control programme for more than two decades and are closely intertwined with the wider Taranaki community’s efforts to be the first predator-free region in the country.
"We’re right on board with this vision," Donald said.
The $11.5 million over the next five years to Taranaki Taku Tūranga - Our Place, Towards a Predator-Free Taranaki represents the first project to gain large-scale funding from the government’s company Predator Free 2050 Ltd. Together with $35 million of funding from other sources, Taranaki Taku Tūranga aims to use the latest technology and trapping techniques to rid the region’s farmland, urban areas, reserves and Mt Taranaki of stoats, rats and possums by 2050.
"Farmers spend a lot of time controlling pest animals and weeds on their land, having planted the banks of thousands of kilometres of waterways and being responsible for the bulk of the land now in conservation covenants," Donald said.
"Farmers know from personal experience that control of predators such as stoats, rats and feral cats is an ongoing battle, and a key part of their drive to protect and enhance indigenous biodiversity on farm.
"I’m sure there is significant appetite in the farming community to work with other agencies to do even more."