Former Invermay director Jock Allison says there has been a
''terrific'' response from deer farmers after a call for them
to support the retention of Invermay's deer research
A letter was sent to farmers from Dr Allison, former deer
programme leader Dr Ken Drew and Prof Frank Griffin from the
University of Otago, asking farmers to indicate whether they
preferred the programme to be located at Invermay or Lincoln,
and to express their opinions to politicians.
AgResearch is proposing to centralise its operations in
Lincoln and Palmerston North, jobs at Invermay dropping from
115 to 30 and 180 jobs going from Ruakura, near Hamilton.
''They [deer farmers] are very concerned and virtually
unanimous they want everything left at Invermay,'' Dr Allison
A letter has also been sent to sheep farmers from Dr Allison,
former Invermay scientist Dr George Davis, John Smart, from
Clutha Vets, who is also president of the International Sheep
Veterinary Association, and Prof Ken McNatty, former leader
of the AgResearch Wallaceville reproduction group.
In the letter, they said a shift of scientific and technical
staff from Invermay to Lincoln would result in.-The serious
compromising of AgResearch's ability to contribute to
The destruction of productive research collaborations between
AgResearch and the University of Otago. AgResearch and the
Government spent $2 million five years ago to establish the
Chair in Reproduction and Genomics and established the centre
of the same name within the $17 million Christie building.
The destruction of AgResearch/industry co-operation in
genomic testing and associated services to flocks and herds.
A significant loss in scientific output and financial income
for AgResearch itself - industry funding might well stay with
staff who did not shift to Lincoln, reformed in another
The eventual closing of Invermay as the 30 staff positions
would not be enough to justify the overhead costs, meaning
the campus might be sold.
The service to the sheep industry would therefore be much
The trio sought support from sheep farmers for the retention
of and expansion of the sheep research group.
Dr Allison also intended writing to Economic Development
Steven Joyce, outlining his concerns.
A final decision on AgResearch's structure will be made on
September 26, after consultation with staff.