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Australia & New Zealand Hunting : New Zealand: Hunters welcome first reading of game council act

on 2012/3/5 4:40:07 (658 reads)

Hunters are overjoyed that the first reading of the bill to establish a Game Animal Council (GAC) has passed the first hurdle and been introduced to parliament.

The aim of GAC is to improve the management of game animals, namely deer, tahr, chamois and wild pigs and allow for education about hunting and the promotion of safety initiatives.

For Alan Simmons, the GAC has been 60 years in the making and he is "absolutely elated."

The former government deer culler and Turangi fishing guide said it was a dream to have game animals managed rather than listed as a noxious pest. He said deer were a prized animal for hunters and "the great majority of them are overjoyed at the news".


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Game animals have had a torrid time in the past as a pest species and the GAC will finally give them the status they deserve, Mr Simmons said.

But Forest and Bird advocacy manager Kevin Hackwell had serious concerns over the GAC.

He believed that conservation values would be undermined and hunters would end up being the losers. "It's going to be a problem having two separate and opposing regimes of management on conservation land."

He thought it would also lead to conflict over hunting and conservation values.

Mr Hackwell also had concerns for public access to the conservation estate.

"Anyone in New Zealand can go in 365 days a year," he said. "If they are going to start managing the herds, [hunters] will regret it when they start having restrictions put on them."

But Mr Simmons was grateful for the coming change. "Peter Dunne [the MP who tabled the bill] is to be congratulated for having the fortitude to see this through. He has been the only friend to hunters even though there is a huge population that hunt and fish."

Forest and Bird said they were not anti-hunting.

"We want more people out there hunting. If they enjoy their sport and we all benefit, but we really think the GAC is going the wrong way."




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