Magpies causing concern

Michael Laws. Photo: ODT files
Michael Laws. Photo: ODT files
Dunstan ward Otago Regional Councillor Michael Laws believes a magpie problem in Cromwell is endangering residents.

There has been a string of recent magpie attacks on school pupils and members of the public in the town.

However, the Otago Regional Council has confirmed the bird is not part of its pest management plan.

Cr Laws said there had been several attacks reported to him on school grounds and in other areas, including the Greenways and Bannockburn Rd.

He said a cyclist suffered injuries recently after coming off their bike due to a magpie attack.

"They count themselves very lucky not to further injure themselves because a car came along very soon after.

"One day they will kill someone - it's as simple as that.''

Cromwell College principal Mason Stretch said some parents had contacted the school about their concerns.

"They were a real nuisance last term dive-bombing and harassing students travelling to and from school, and also during break times.''

Magpies are not included in the proposed regional pest management plan, which was notified for appeals at the beginning of October, and not included in the current operative plan.

ORC biosecurity and biodiversity team leader Richard Lord confirmed only a handful of complaints had been received by the council in recent times.

He said a hearing plan was held on the proposed pest plan which decided against including magpies.

"Because magpies are widespread nationally, it is appropriate to provide information and advice on methods to control magpies, rather than taking a regulatory approach.''

Mr Lord said magpie control options in urban environments included trapping and poisoning. The discharge of firearms in urban environments was prohibited.

Cr Laws said he will be meeting Cromwell College and Goldfields Primary schools to discuss how to progress the matter.

adam.burns@odt.co.nz

 

Comments

The traditional approach to pests control is proven, but alas, that has become non-PC.....expect an explosion of pests throughout NZ. Unintended consequences of good intentions of a law past this year.

Magpies , amongst other Corvids have the largest brain to body mass ratio of living organisms., and only protecting their young .......alas, SELF serving careerist politicians like Mr Laws are at the other end of the spectrum and constantly show they have the lowest ratio of brain matter per body mass....

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