Opinion by Lewis Hore
How often do we see hear and read these days in all media of the number of people relying on food banks with numbers growing steadily and food banks requiring more and more, yet struggling to supply.
On Saturday night 28th August TV One news reported Minster of Conservation Eugenie Sage saying that one in five New Zealanders were relying on food banks.
Yet Ms Sage is the one signing off the 1080 poisoning of possums. Possum meat is high in protein, minerals, vitamins and contains the highest concentrations of omega three other than fish. It is an anti inflammatory and aids healthy heart functioning.
Deer, a product of 1080 by-kill, is also poisoned by the Department of Conservation in large numbers. Venison aids joint mobility and contains levels of iron higher than beef.
The tahr, 100% pure organic meat, is Ms Sage’s pet hate and at the moment, are being slaughtered ordered by her edict, in the thousands and left to rot, to contaminate pristine streams and rivers and provide a source of lead shot which DoC and the Kea Conservation Trust claims to kill kea.
It is bizarre, thoughtless, dumbly destructive and grossly wasteful.
Surely some of the $1.2 billion given to the DoC to be spent on pest control could be used to recover some of these tahr for human consumption particularly food banks?
All these animals could provide employment for trappers and hunters recovering meat to supply food banks and overseas markets.
Possum’s are poisoned with 1080 and left to rot with the carcasses remaining as toxic secondary baits to kill scavengers and native birds. Yet possum fur is worth $100 a kilo and good pelts fetch $30 each also for local and overseas markets and so the waste irresponsibly goes on.
Is there a need to say any more?