A local hunting group has objected to an aerial 1080 drop planned for Lake Hawea’s Timaru Creek next year.
The drop, planned as part of OSPRI’s TBfree programme, is due to take place on 1033 hectares of the 11,907 hectares of Timaru Creek’s TB management area, where TB infected ferrets and pigs have recently been detected.
The Upper Clutha branch of the New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association’s objections centre around concerns for the effect the pesticide will have on game animals in the area.
Secretary Murray Burns said that Timaru Creek was a popular hunting spot, as it was one of the few places left with ease of access, convenience and a good variety of game animals including wild pigs, tahr and deer.
“The branch acknowledges the need for effective TB vector control to ensure the farming community maintains access to overseas markets, but the bykill of non-target species such as deer and tahr from aerial control methods is controversial, unpopular and can’t be tolerated in such a high use recreational hunting area as Timaru Creek,” Murray said.
Murray added that the branch had consulted with OSPRI in 2015 in regards to an aerial drop over Mount Burke and the Maungawera Valley and had been happy with the outcome.
“The upshot was that they treated their pellets with deer repellent. How effective it was is a bit debatable but we were happy that they went to some lengths to satisfy our concerns,” Murray said.
“Our preference is to see 1080 baits laid by ground control, but in the event that aerial control is inevitable, we would encourage OSPRI to consider the use of deer repellent again.”
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