Federated Farmers and Forest & Bird welcome Predator Free NZ project

Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy. 

The Predator Free New Zealand Trust was launched today at the “A Place to Live,” conference in Whanganui. 

Federated Farmers and Forest & Bird are actively supporting the Predator Free mission – of clearing New Zealand of all rats, stoats, ferrets, possums, and feral cats. Both organisations have many members who are already actively controlling introduced predators.  

“The Predator Free New Zealand project will greatly improve New Zealand’s productivity, by eliminating bovine tuberculosis, and the public health threat posed by rats,” says Katie Milne, Federated Farmers spokesperson on biosecurity.    

“Achieving the Predator Free goal will require more of the sort of innovative thinking that has got us this far in terms of predator management. It is likely to require some new technologies, some which don’t yet exist. But the advice from the scientists is that the Predator Free goal, while it is ambitious and long term, technically it can – and certainly should be – achieved,” Katie Milne says.

Forest & Bird Group Manager Campaigns and Advocacy Kevin Hackwell says New Zealand’s introduced predators have the potential to eventually cause the extinction of many native animals.

“For this reason alone, the Predator Free goal is one that all New Zealanders should support. Our forests, birds, bats, lizards and insects, as well as New Zealand’s farmers, and a host of other businesses, will only gain from this initiative,” Kevin Hackwell says.

“A range of government and non-government organisations have been working successfully for decades to eradicate introduced predators from our offshore islands and to control them in many parts of the mainland. Eliminating these predators from all of New Zealand over the next few decades is the next logical step to this work,” Kevin Hackwell says.