Dairy funding for predator control welcomed

The announcement that the dairy industry will join an initiative to tackle the predators decimating New Zealand’s native wildlife is another positive step on the way to achieving the long term goal of a predator-free New Zealand, Forest & Bird said today.

Five major dairy companies, including Fonterra, have committed $5 million to the Zero Invasive Predators (ZIP) programme, which was founded late last year by NEXT Foundation and the Department of Conservation. The partnership intends to find new ways to eradicate introduced predators such as rats, stoats and possums from large areas of land.

Forest & Bird Group Manager Campaigns and Advocacy Kevin Hackwell welcomed the dairy industry involvement in the campaign to stop the decline of our native wildlife due to invasive predators.

“Now we have set our sights on the long term goal of a predator-free New Zealand, scientists are focussing on trying to develop more efficient ways of tackling these pests,” Kevin Hackwell said.

“It is important we can fund work to develop these innovations so we can make serious progress towards eliminating predators. Forest & Bird has volunteers trapping and baiting predators all around New Zealand and we would welcome anything that makes this work easier and more effective.

“It is good to see the dairy industry throwing its weight behind efforts to restore our native wildlife.”

The dairy industry already is a major player in predator control, with dairy farmer levies providing much of the funding for the TBfree campaign, which does pest control work to try to eliminate the risk of possums spreading bovine tuberculosis.