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Community take the lead with pest control on lockdown


With Greater Wellington Regional Council’s professional predator hunters locked down, Greater Wellington is urging backyard trappers to use this time to keep the heat on rats, stoats and other predators.

Although a few of Greater Wellington’s allies in the battle against pests, such as Predator Free Wellington and Wellington City Council, have also put pest control operations on hold, good work is still underway – and Greater Wellington is calling on residents to take up the challenge to do their part in their backyards.

Greater Wellington Environment Committee Chair Councillor Penny Gaylor says, “This is a great opportunity to safely do your part for the environment while in isolation. By simply setting a trap in your backyard, you can do your part to maintain all the hard work done to date by protecting our native species. On the Greater Wellington website you can access helpful resources to help with trapping at home.”

Already there has been a fantastic response to Predator Free Wellington’s campaign #LockDownKnockDown, which people can take part in online.

“Setting and emptying traps is a great activity for all ages, especially while in isolation when everyone is looking for helpful ways to keep occupied. Stay at home and do your bit to save lives, and help your community’s biodiversity and natural environment,” Cr Gaylor says.

Since the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown started, Greater Wellington has ceased all pest control operations across the Wellington Region.

Similar to many services that have been put on hold across the region, Greater Wellington’s day to day pest control operations do not qualify as an essential service.

Wayne O’Donnell, General Manager for Catchment Management Group at Greater Wellington Regional Council, says support is available in specific circumstances, “In some instances Greater Wellington has been given authorisation to conduct small operations that are deemed a matter of public health and safety.

“These include responding to residents’ concerns about triggered traps in Wellington City, and wasp nest removal. To protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and the community, a small team has been approved to respond, all operating independently.”

If you’re are an enthusiastic trapper and need help to identify a pest in your back yard, you can contact Greater Wellington on pest.animals@gw.govt.nz or contact Biosecurity New Zealand at 0800 80 99 66.

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