Decision on aerially assisted trophy hunting applications

Press Release – New Zealand Government

Thursday, 9 February 2012 Media Release Decision on aerially assisted trophy hunting applications Sixteen aerially assisted trophy hunting (AATH) concessions are to be granted by Associate Conservation Minister Peter Dunne under the Wild Animal Control … Hon Peter Dunne Associate Minister of Conservation

Thursday, 9 February 2012 Media Release

Decision on aerially assisted trophy hunting applications Sixteen aerially assisted trophy hunting (AATH) concessions are to be granted by Associate Conservation Minister Peter Dunne under the Wild Animal Control Act.

The Minister said he was obliged to consider the applications within the framework of current legislation and has decided on the following under Section 22 of the Act: • To accept the Department’s recommendations as to what land should be or should not be available to AATH operations; • To accept the recommendation that the applications (excluding wilderness areas) not be notified; • To grant the concessions for a term of two years; • To form the intent to grant the applications with respect to wilderness areas but to require that intent to be publicly notified.

“I am concerned about the impact AATH has on other users of public conservation land, including recreational hunters, therefore, I have decided to grant the permits for two years, rather than the 10 years applied for. “At the expiry of the two-year concessions, I will have more information about the impact of the activity and be in a better position to determine whether to grant for a longer period of time, seek public input, or decline based on the effects on other users,” Mr Dunne said.

“I also consider that the effects of AATH in wilderness areas is such that it is appropriate to give public notice of my intent to grant the applications over those areas as prescribed by section 17T(5) of the Conservation Act.”

Mr Dunne said he had also decided to impose the following additional conditions on each concession: 1. The concessionaire must not shoot or authorise shooting from helicopters except where a wounded animal needs to be killed for humane reasons; 2. The concessionaire must not carry out any form of hazing of wild animals (being the persecution, harassment or maltreatment of wild animals using a helicopter); and 3. The concessionaire must not use a helicopter to herd wild animals in any situation where that activity would interfere with: the safe enjoyment of public conservation land by other users; the control of wild animals by recreational hunting.

“The conditions relating to shooting from helicopters and hazing are clear. With respect to herding, I have given greater weighting to actual and potential effects on recreationalists and recreational hunters. I am therefore requiring a condition on herding because I consider it another way in which I can deal with the social effects that this activity may cause.

“I have had useful discussions with several of the applicants and their representative before making my decision and was grateful for the opportunity to meet with them and hear their views.”

“Finally, it is my expectation that all concession holders will fully comply with the rules and conditions relating to their concession,” Mr Dunne said.

Ends

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