An opinion by Neil Hayes QSM CEnv PhD FRSA
In 2012, six years after lead shot was banned for duck shooting in 12 gauge shotguns, I wrote an article for “NZ Guns and Hunting” about the demise of mallard ducks in the North Island.
The only serious comments I received were – “Surely you meant New Zealand?” – and apart from the national NZ Fish and Game Council – and the 12 regional Fish and Game Council’s – the consensus was that the writing was on the wall for the mallard and eventually there would be no mallards – and no duck shooting!
Since 2012 mallard numbers have plummeted throughout the country and many believe that it is now too late to save the mallard and without mallards there is no future for duck hunting in New Zealand, or for the NZ Fish and Game Councils’ – particularly since the NZ Fish and Game foolishly banned lead shot in all gauges except 410 in December 2016.
Such a decision flies in the face of what is happening overseas, particularly when a major meeting international meeting held in Hawaii, in September 2016, rejected all moves by United Nations puppets (the IUCN) to totally ban lead shot and lead projectiles!
Earlier, in July 2016, the UK’s Minister for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) rejected a conspiracy involving the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the RSPCA, the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (founded in 1947 by Peter Scott, an ardent wildfowler), Birdlife and the UK’s Lead Advisory Group, to ban lead shot and lead projectiles – because DEFRA’s research department had determined that over 30 commonly eaten vegetables all contained elements of lead: none of which could be attributed to lead shot or lead projectiles; lead being a prominent natural element.
Whilst there is still a ban on the use of lead shot in wetlands in the UK, pressure is increasing to get this ban removed – because it is now well known that waterfowl do not die from ingesting lead shot, and that neither lead shot nor lead projectiles are contaminants!
And that the whole anti-lead shot and projectile scenario was invented by the United Nations in the late 1950’s as a means of taking firearms out of the hands of shooting sports enthusiasts. For many years the UN has funded the anti-shooting activities of anti-firearm activist Philip Alpers!
Yet, bizarrely the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council are the leading suppliers of weapons of war to terrorists!
One would have thought that our Ministry for the Environment, the Department of Conservation and the NZ Fish and Game Council’s would have known this!
In fact, I believe that they do and that their aim – in association with the Royal Forest & Bird Society – is to totally eliminate the mallard based on it not being an endemic species.
This same group has come close to elimination of the Canada goose where b y statute this magnificent bird is classified as a pest.
New Zealand is the only place in the world where the Canada goose is a “pest”!
I followed the 2012 mallard demise article up with “The Steel Shot Fiasco” in NZ Guns and Hunting in 2013. Soon after this was published a few “dyed in the wool” NZ Fish and Game councillors – particularly those in Southland – made numerous slanderous comments about me as the author.
“The Steel Shot Fiasco” clearly documented the reasons for mallard decline; with the main two being – high capacity semi-auto 12 gauge shotgun and steel shot, which has increased the crippling factor of just 6% with lead shot to between 30% and 90% with steel.
Whilst there are some very good alternatives to steel they are all expensive, so the majority using 12 gauge shotguns use steel.
For the last 25-years I have been privileged shoot on three of the Wairarapa’s best duck hunting wetlands at – Nireaha, Taumata Lagoon & Matahiwi.