'Eradication, not just a cull' - fierce resistance meets proposed Tahr cull

A proposed cull of South Island tahr is being met with fierce resistance by hunters, with a spokesperson labelling the move nothing short of eradication.

As numbers of tahr continue to swell, the Department of Conservation are taking the steps in order to preserve wildlife and landscapes, although the reason isn't sitting well with hunters, who are now ready to head to the High Court to seek action.

Appearing on TVNZ 1's Breakfast this morning, NZ Tahr Foundation spokesperson Willie Duley came out swinging about the proposed 'Tahrmageddon'.

"What DOC has proposed, what the minister has proposed is eradication, not just a cull," he said.

"The real issue this is highlighted, is that there is no science, they have no science to prove that there is too many tahr.

"What we want to stress, is that there's no need for a knee-jerk reaction such as this."

Instead, Mr Duley proposed a different solution, seeing both groups come together for the good of the region.

"We need to sit down, get all of the stakeholders, do the proper consultation that wasn't done this time by the minister (Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage).

Officials say tahr numbers have to be limited to protect the landscape. Source: 1 NEWS

"She needs to listen to the Game Animal Council, which is her legislation, the statutory body that advises her on game animal issues, and then we'd all be on the same page.

"There is win-win for this, we just want to sit down, and we want a chance to put in a sustainable strategy that looks after the environment, but also looks after this hundred million dollar resource.

"We're talking people's livelihoods on the line.

"Each bull tahr is worth $14,000 alone to the economy. In the first cull, they propose to shoot 3000 tahr, if you do the maths, that's $42m worth of bull tahr left to rot on the hillside.

"That's just wrong."

A crowdfunding campaign by the New Zealand Tahr foundation has raised more than $85,000 in just a few days to fight the proposed move.

A NZ Hunter spokesperson Willie Duley told Breakfast about the damage a proposed cull would inflict. Source: Breakfast


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