27 Dec 2014

Dumped pets wreak environmental havoc

11:38 am on 27 December 2014

Biosecurity experts say the dumping of unwanted pets - such as cats, fish, birds and even reptiles - presents a huge threat to native species.

Goldfish are now rampant in many waterways.

Goldfish are now rampant in many waterways. Photo: 123RF

Rebecca Kemp, president of the Biosecurity Institute, said its members spend hundreds of hours each year managing the risks to the economy and the environment caused by the pet industry.

She said problem pets include goldfish, which are now rampant in many waterways, red-eared slider turtles, which eat native fish, and reptiles like bearded dragons.

Ms Kemp said Canterbury members are reporting an increasing number of peacocks on Christchurch's Port Hills, while sulphur-crested cockatoos and eastern rosellas have established themselves elsewhere.

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