In a win for the hunting community, the New Zealand High Court ruled that the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC) must reconsider its controversial tahr culling program due to a lack of consultation with stakeholders who have a vested interest in tahr management.
Thanks to the court’s decision, the DOC will be required to further consult with the hunting community and other stakeholders to ensure tahr are managed and not eradicated. The lawsuit was filed to ensure the population remains strong enough to sustainably support hunting, which is an important part of New Zealand’s culture and economy. Recent projects indicate that the economic activity generated from tourism-related to tahr hunting could be almost $100 million annually.
While the judge ruled in favor of arguments and interests presented to the court by the New Zealand Tahr Foundation, the Court also ruled against the Tahr Foundation on two other issues it presented. With these decisions, the DOC is authorized to continue it’s culling but in a limited capacity, and bulls still being targeted is a chief concern amongst the hunting community. The consultation will be crucial to convincing the DOC to reduce the scope of culling as initially proposed and to protect bulls from the culling.
SCI will continue to remain engaged with the ongoing process to ensure that tahr hunting opportunities remain unaffected to the fullest extent possible and provide updates as they develop.
Almost 50,000 people have signed a petition requesting the DOC halt the proposed cull until further consulting hunters. Add your name to the petition today to voice your support that the best available science should drive the revised management plan with the support and participation of the hunting community.