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Kea deaths warrant independent review

Hon Dr Nick Smith
National Party Conservation Spokesman

30 July 2008

Kea deaths warrant independent review

The deaths of seven kea at Fox Glacier as a result of DOC’s 1080 poisoning programme must trigger a wider review of the department’s pest management, says National’s Conservation spokesman, Nick Smith.

“DOC is meant to be in the business of protecting our endangered birds, not killing them off.

“That these deaths come in the same month that a DOC worker shot and killed a takahe in a case of mistaken identity raises serious questions about the department’s competence.

“There have been widespread reports of declining kea numbers and these revelations about 1080 demand a serious review of the way this poison is being used in alpine areas.

“Everyone knows how inquisitive and social kea are, and restricting the use of 1080 in their habitat may be the only way of protecting them.

“There is deep suspicion about DOC’s use of 1080 and its impact on the environment.

“It is unacceptable that DOC is dealing with this issue internally.

“An independent review of the pest management programme is essential if DOC is to regain the public’s confidence.”


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