Thursday, 24 October 2019 08:55

A resource not a pest

Written by  Staff Reporters
Laurie Collins - manage wallabies for meat, hides and fur. Laurie Collins - manage wallabies for meat, hides and fur.

A conservation and hunting lobby has criticised a call by Environment Canterbury for more funding to prevent a national plague of wallabies.

Laurie Collins, of Sporting Hunters Outdoor Trust, a conservation and hunting advocacy, has accused bureaucracies and some extreme environmentalists – such as Forest and Bird – of suffering from ‘pest panic phobia’.

His criticism follows recent calls by Forest and Bird for the Government to urgently fund wallaby extermination before they reach “plague proportions”. 

Forest and Bird central North Island regional manager Rebecca Stirnemann claims wallabies could spread over a third of New Zealand within the next 50 years unless they are killed in large numbers.

However, Collins, who was for many years involved in wild animal work with the NZ Forest Service, rabbit boards and regional bodies, says Forest and Bird’s culture is wrong, wasteful and impractical. 

“Too often Forest and Bird sees the solution as drenching the countryside with poison and thereby ignoring prudent, practical management.”

Collins said wallabies were introduced to NZ in the 1870s – almost 200 years ago. 

He claims their spread from the South Island liberation point at Waimate had been “very gradual and slow”. 

Collins said he doubts the accuracy of Forest and Bird’s claim that “wallabies have already been sighted in fresh territories in Auckland, Northland, Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne, Wellington, Marlborough, Southland and the West Coast”.

He believes any wild animal should be treated as a resource. 

“If numbers are considered too high there should be a harvest and where possible utilisation of the carcases.”

Collins says kangaroo meat is considered a dining delicacy and so should wallaby. 

“It is wasteful and immoral in a world crying out for food in the face of steadily climbing human numbers, to leave carcases to rot,” he said.

He says another use could be pet food manufacture.

“Pet food manufacture using possums was done successfully some years ago by a Bay of Plenty factory, but export markets collapsed when Japanese authorities learned of NZ’s 1080 poison spreading,” Collins said.

“It is simply a matter of having a constructive attitude instead of a mindless, unscientific dogma of hate and cruelty.”

More like this

Mealybug warnings

As mealybugs gain a foothold in Central Otago, grapegrowers are being urged to be vigilant for signs of Grapevine Leafroll-associated Virus Type 3 (leafroll 3) in vines.

Getting on top of a lousy problem

For strong wool sheep, lice infection is a nuisance more than a hefty financial cost. But, for fine wool sheep the financial toll is much greater. 

Why the stripes?

An experiment on a herd of cows in central Japan appears to have proven a radical, nature-inspired solution to a pest problem plaguing farmers.

Freshwater plan a killer blow

A national limit on dissolved nitrogen would “essentially eliminate” intensive agriculture in the Selwyn Waihora catchment, says Environment Canterbury chief scientist Dr Tim Davie.



Fonterra’s big break

Former Fonterra chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden believes the co-operative will come out a stronger global player post-COVID-19.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Dirty water

The Hound understands that Federated Farmers has been cut out of the information loop, for the past year, on the…

Who’s paying?

Your canine crusader noticed a full-page ad recently run in a farming paper calling on meat companies SFF and Alliance…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter

Popular Reads

Drop in payout looms

Dairy farmers are being told to brace for a big drop in milk payout next season.