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Baldock: Trial waterway poisoning is DOC looniness

Thursday, 9 December 2004

Baldock: Trial waterway poisoning is DOC looniness

A "loony" DOC scheme to trial poisoning a waterway to kill 'undesirable' fish must mean that the battle has been won against stoats, rats, feral cats, wild dogs, possums, weasels, ferrets and wasps, United Future's Larry Baldock said today.

"That would be the only possible explanation - and even then it wouldn't explain a plan that involves removing 'desirable' fish and placing them back later, or in the event that they are poisoned, rescuing and resuscitating them," he said.

Mr Baldock, United Future's environment spokesman, took the matter up with Conservation Minister Chris Carter in Parliament today, saying that it went against comments he made as recently as October about DOC priorities in dealing with pests.

"And Mr Carter admitted at the time something that everyone already knows: most damage is coming from the likes of possums and stoats."

Mr Carter's defence that it was just a trial brought little comfort, Mr Baldock said.

"Things aren't trialed without some real possibility that they will be put in place as part of the DOC regime."

Mr Baldock's views were backed up by Outdoor Recreations' freshwater fisheries spokesman Stuart Mirfin, who said the trial was a huge worry given fanatical elements within DOC.

"Once they get approval to poison trout anywhere, where will it stop?

"Are the rivers flowing into Lake Taupo next, or the streams around Mt Taranaki, or perhaps all the rivers in the Nelson Lakes National Park, or maybe they're going to want to get rid of the salmon from the Rakaia or the Waitaki?" Mr Mirfin said.

ENDS

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