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Hysterical Beat-up by DOC and GAC Over Taranaki Sika Deer

Hysterical Beat-up by DOC and GAC Over Taranaki Sika Deer

The controversy and reaction by the Department of Conservation and chairman of the Game Animal Council over alleged liberation of sika deer in north Taranaki lacked credibility says Laurie Collins, spokesman for the Sporting Hunters Outdoor Trust (SHOT).

“It seems a hysterical reactive outburst by DOC supported by its lapdog the Game Animal Council. On examination of practicability and reports, the whole story seems based on fantasy and fabrication,” said Laurie Collins of the West Coast.

The department claimed 30 deer were liberated but given the temperament of the sika deer and the impracticability of transporting 30 deer, the issue appeared to be a "beat-up by bureaucrats".

Reports coming to hand indicated that sika deer could have conceivably spread there since in the late 1970s deer were released in the upper Wanganui area from where in 50 years they could have filtered through to Taranaki since sika are largely bush dwelling animals. In the early 1990s the upper Wanganui sika deer had spread considerably. Other reliable reports indicated the sika deer had been in North Taranaki “for some years”.

Laurie Collins said the attempt by DOC and the Game Animal Council to link the alleged deer release to the anti-1080 public suggested that it was an orchestrated DOC campaign to discredit the growing number of public who are concerned about the haphazard use of 1080. It was also suspected the furore generated by DOC over Taranaki sika deer was a diversionary tactic from an incident in Coromandel where DOC officers allegedly assaulted peaceful anti-1080 protestors.

“The more one looks into it and the more information which comes to hand, the more DOC’s credibility crumbles.”

Laurie Collins said the Game Animal Council’s support for DOC’s claims was not surprising since the council by an Act of Parliament was effectively an arm of the department.

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