Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


PM’s Presser: Govt Plays Possum On Gin-Trap Ban

PM’s Presser: Govt Plays Possum On Gin-Trap Ban

Images by Katie MacKinnon

A deal between Greens and the Government could see a new weapon in the war against possums, stoats, and other eco-pests -- but the Government has no plans yet to drop gin-traps from its arsenal.

Prime Minister John Key said Monday his government had agreed to fund a $4m trial of a new type of trap that could reduce the Department of Conservation’s use of poisons such as 1080.

Key said both parties agreed pests ruined native bush, killed protected species and posed a risk to New Zealand’s agricultural industries as they carried foot-and-mouth disease and bovine tuberculosis

A large-scale infection in the agricultural sector would be “devastating” – “So anything we can do to minimize the risk of these diseases and protect a billion-dollar industry has to be explored and tested.”

If successful the trap could prove an alternative to the use of 1080 in some parts of the country, he added.

Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson said pest control was an expensive business, but one which was absolutely necessary to protect New Zealand’s natural heritage.

The traps would cost more than conventional poison but would reduce labour costs by $80 per trap each year, meaning the net savings over the life of a trap “could be huge”.

The new design consists of a container similar to a gallon-jug with a pneumatic slug: if the bait is disturbed the trigger slams a metal bolt through the animal’s head, killing it instantly.

But Wilkinson would not say whether the Government hoped to phase out its controversial use of gin-traps, which catch animals by crushing their legs between two metal jaws.

Critics of gin-traps say they are inhumane and just as dangerous for native species such as kiwi, and in June the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals urged the Government to ban gin-traps following a string of incidents where household cats were caught in the traps.

Animals caught in gin-traps usually require amputation of limbs or euthanasia.

But Wilkinson would not be drawn on the issue, saying the Government wanted to take each step at a time.

“I don’t particularly like gin-traps; these appear to be a better prototype.

“But let’s wait and see if it works and see how effective it is before we make any decisions.”

The trial will begin next summer in two locations.

Possible locations include Northland’s Trounson Kauri Park, Hawkes Bay’s Boundary Stream, the Nelson Lakes National Park, and Urewera National Park.

Play To Start
Audio Playing….




© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Media Collusion With National’s Attack Lines

For most of the past week, any consumer of this country’s management of Covid-19 would think New Zealand was actually Brazil, or Texas. The media language has been full of claims of “botches” at the border, and laxness and inexcusable errors ... More>>

Gregor Thompson: Don’t Be Too Pessimistic About New Zealand’s Future.

With the first hurdle hopped our Government will be turning its attention to trying to soften the economic damage this pandemic has on our little archipelago. More>>

Eric Zuesse: U.S. Empire: Biden And Kerry Gave Orders To Ukraine’s President

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at Strategic Culture On May 19th, an implicit international political warning was issued, but it wasn’t issued between countries; it was issued between allied versus opposed factions within each of two countries: U.S. and Ukraine. ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Budget Cockups In The Time Of Coronavirus: Reporting Errors And Australia’s JobKeeper Scheme

Hell has, in its raging fires, ringside seats for those who like their spreadsheets. The seating, already peopled by those from human resources, white collar criminals and accountants, becomes toastier for those who make errors with those spreadsheets. ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Altars Of Hypocrisy: George Floyd, Protest And Black Face

Be wary what you protest about. The modern moral constabulary are out, and they are assisted by their Silicon Valley friends in the Social Media club. Should you dare take a stand on anything, especially in a dramatic way, you will be found out ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Welcome Deaths: Coronavirus And The Open Plan Office

For anybody familiar with that gruesome manifestation of the modern work place, namely the open plan office, the advent of coronavirus might be something of a relief. The prospects for infection in such spaces is simply too great. You are at risk from ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Why Thinking Makes It So: Donald Trump’s Obamagate Fixation

The “gate” suffix has been wearing thin since the break-in scandal that gave it its birth. Since Watergate, virtually anything dubious and suggestive, and much more besides, is suffixed. Which brings us to the issue of President Donald Trump’s ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Brutal Choices: Anders Tegnell And Sweden’s Herd Immunity Goal

If the title of epidemiological czar were to be created, its first occupant would have to be Sweden’s Anders Tegnell. He has held sway in the face of sceptics and concern that his “herd immunity” approach to COVID-19 is a dangerous, and breathtakingly ... More>>