An Animal Welfare Disaster - Deerstalkers demand answers
New Zealand, Wednesday 20 November 2019 - The New Zealand Deerstalkers Association is demanding answers over the scheduling of 1080 poisoning operations during the current breeding season, saying new born fawns are threatened with starvation if the poison drops go ahead.
The NZDA, which is the country’s leading hunting organisation, says it has become aware of a number of applications from both OSPRI and the Department of Conservation to start poisoning large areas during the run-up to Christmas.
A 1080 drop is scheduled to begin tomorrow in the Kahurangi area in the north west South Island, while it is understood another operation is due to begin soon in the Landsborough area on the West Coast.
The NZDA is condemning the planned poisoning.
The NZDA’s national president Trevor Chappell says the timing is unacceptable.
“These drops coincide with late spring when deer are giving birth to their fawns and that means not only are the mothers at risk of dying a painful death if they eat the 1080, the orphaned fawns will be left to starve to death,” says Mr Chappell.
“This is just not on. This is a major animal welfare issue for deer and if these government organisations want to be seen as humane, they should not be conducting mass poisoning campaigns at this time of year.”
The Deerstalkers Association is asking DoC and OSPRI to explain their thinking.
“In previous years, mass poisoning operations have finished by this time. Even the tahr cull was halted from November to prevent orphaned kids starving to death in the mountains,” Trevor Chappell says.
“We hoped these organisations had learned their lesson from the public backlash over the 2017 mass poisoning of deer in Molesworth but it appears that despite their promises to prevent such indiscriminate killing happening again, they are continuing their unacceptable policies.”