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Pest Control Savings Irresponsible

Media Release
16 December 2003

Pest Control Savings Irresponsible

New Zealand First conservation spokesperson Edwin Perry has called on the Department of Conservation to urgently review its priorities.

“Someone at DoC has decided that it is acceptable to under-utilise the department’s annual pest control budget.

Figures available show a total of $2,396,000 under spent consisting of $448,000 for 2000, $397,000 for 2001, $853,000 for 2002 and $698,000 for 2003.

“Given the precarious existence of our native wildlife because of the activities of possums, rats and stoats it would seem logical that every available dollar should be directed towards either pest destruction in the field or research into ways of controlling predators,” said Mr Perry.

“We now learn that after five years of groundbreaking stoat research by Canterbury scientists the future of the programme is at risk because their funding runs out in a matter of months.

“The search is for better trapping methods and ultimately a means of biological control. Despite the importance of this programme it appears that continued funding is by no means assured.

“Every last cent of the pest control budget should be used to find solutions to our predator problems. Someone needs to reorganise their priorities and the Minister should have a word with them as soon as possible,“ said Mr Perry.

ENDS


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