[28 September/Rural Life]

The tahr cull proposed by Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage, would not go ahead this weekend. However, she was adamant it would go ahead soon. She wanted more than 17,500 culled by shooters in helicopters as the herd was three times larger than agreed upon. The New Zealand Tahr Foundation appealed the cull to fund a legal injunction. Over $140,000 had been raised so far. National’s Conservation Spokeswoman, Sarah Dowie, claimed Ms Sage had postponed the mass cull. Ms Sage replied by saying it would proceed after consultation with interested parties. None believed there wasn’t too many tahr, however hunting groups wanted culls spread over three years and to include selective culling to maintain valuable trophy animals. Ms Sage would meet with the Tahr Liaison Group, the Game Animal Council, and the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association. She noted the previous government did not ensure the tahr number limits were kept, and the number had increased dramatically.