Wider pest plan feedback sought

Environment Southland's senior biosecurity officer Dave Burgess encourages people to make...
Environment Southland's senior biosecurity officer Dave Burgess encourages people to make submissions to the pest management plan. PHOTO: SRL ARCHIVES
In addition to the usual suspects - including rabbits, possums, mustelids, feral cats, gorse and broom - Environment Southland's proposed new pest management plan includes additional regulations for wilding pines and introduces Good Neighbour Rules.

It also emphasises that they do not want chamois, Himalayan Tahr, rooks and wallabies - not that they have them in Southland - they are just saying, in case any decide to cross northern borders.

The updated Southland Regional Pest Management Plan, and accompanying Biosecurity Strategy, were released for public consultation August 28, following an informal consultation with the public in 2016.

The strategy, which lists 72 pests, has been reviewed to meet the requirements for the National Policy Direction for Pest Management and outlines how Environment Southland will deal with biosecurity management for the next 10 years.

Senior biosecurity officer Dave Burgess said the pest management plan contained regulations as well as rules, advice and information for education and management of the pests.

The Good Neighbour Rules (GNR) have been introduced to encourage neighbours in rural communities to work together to come up with the best solutions for both parties to address pest control and removal, and to ensure those pests such as gorse, ragwort and thistle, did not "jump fences" as they did not "respect boundaries", he said.

"If there are pest problems on boundaries, we will work with both farmers to come up with a plan."

The new strategy added new rules for wilding pines.

Mr Burgess said apart from areas like Mid Dome, where a lot of work had already been carried out, wilding pines were expected to become a problem "on the horizon" and the new rules were in place to address other potential areas where they could become a significant issue.

That includes the Takitimu and the Eyre mountains in Northern Southland.

"Wilding pines don't respect boundaries," Mr Burgess said.

"They are a growing issue."

In addition, Mr Burgess said Environment Southland proposed to stop its urban gorse and broom inspection programmes.

"There will be no real change for farming communities.

"For rabbits, there is no change there for the farming community and it is business as usual.

"For possums it is also business as usual."

Mr Burgess said the strategies was out for consultation and closed on October 23, and he urged people to have their say.


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