March 19, 2011

Farmers happy Canada Geese finally declared a pest

The Canada Goose is now officially declared a noxious pest
Image Sourced Wikicommons

The Government’s announcement that the Canada Goose will no longer be protected as a game bird is welcomed by Federated Farmers, meaning they will now be allowed to be hunted freely as a pest.

“Federated Farmers has long been campaigning for the Canada Goose to be declared a pest. It’s not native, it spoils the environment and is even an air traffic hazard,” says Donald Aubrey, Federated Farmers game and pest animal management spokesperson.

“Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson’s announcement was inevitable, the population was getting out of control. For example, South Island Canada Goose Management Plan in 1995 set a population limit of 20,350. In 2008 that figure was 35,000.

“We applaud her for having the courage to make this decision after five years of consideration and following extensive lobbying by Federated Farmers.

“The Canada Goose was introduced to New Zealand as a game bird and has provided many landowners with nothing but trouble. It puts huge pressure on the environment, damaging crops, spoiling waterways with excrement and outcompeting native birds for resources.

“It adds thousands of dollars to the costs of doing business in the South Island especially.

“This ruling finally allows farmers to defend themselves against Canada Geese.

“This win will not stop our on-going dialogue with Fish and Game however. They were meant to be managing the Canada Goose problem and haven’t done so. This reclassification of the Canada Goose as a pest really is a last resort.

“We now need to implement a proper pest management programme to eliminate Canada Geese, something Fish and Game should’ve been on top of. Realistically we will only be able to control the population, much like rabbits.

“Overall, this is a good decision by the Government as a result of years of campaigning by Federated Farmers. We’re happy to chalk this one up as a win, but must add that the fight against these pests is just beginning,” Mr Aubrey concluded.

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