A game hunters' group wants suppliers to boycott a West Coast meat plant for processing a large batch of chamois.
The chairman of the Game and Forest Foundation, Tom Williams, says Silver Fern Farms ordered 1000 chamois shot from helicopters in order to keep its Hokitika deer processing plant open till new-season stock came on stream.
Mr Williams says chamois are already hard to obtain, with the return from an overseas hunter worth about $3000 an animal, compared with an estimated $100 to a meat processor.
The chief executive of Silver Fern Farms, Keith Cooper, says that mass culling is a valid commercial activity and that the number of deer shot was significantly fewer than 1000.
Chamois meat is in demand from customers, he says, and Game and Forest should consider the impact of a boycott on the game meat industry as a whole.