14 Dec 2009

Support up for possum trapping in Coromandel

9:11 pm on 14 December 2009

An anti-1080 poison campaigner from the Coromandel Peninsula is supporting calls for an increase in possum trapping.

Textiles New Zealand says the country could double its export of garments made from the possum fur-merino wool blend in the next five years.

The biggest obstacle is getting enough possum fur, which has to be obtained from trapping.

People opposed to the continuing use of 1080 as the main agent for possum control are also advocating a greater use of trapping.

Reihana Robinson, of the Upper Coromandel Landcare Association, says they have had a breakthrough.

Ms Robinson says the Coromandel-Colville Community Board has agreed to support an animal pest control policy for that area that would allow only hunting, trapping and non-residual poisons to be used.

She says the agreement is not binding on the Department of Conservation, which carries out most of the poisonings, nor on the regional councils, which issue resource consents. However, it still carries considerable political weight.

Meanwhile, the Department of Conservation says it supports any moves to help bring down possum numbers, including trapping possums for their fur.

But it says trapping alone is not enough to reduce possum numbers to the level needed to protect vulnerable native species.