No snow leopards

Federated Farmers is saying a definite no to snow leopards in the South Island high country.

Federated Farmers is stunned to learn of a proposal to introduce a snow leopard sanctuary in the South Island High Country.

The Ministry for the Environment has been petitioned by a Hastings man, who is inviting a private landowner to give up their land to create a safe haven for the endangered species.

“This idea, with all due respect, is outlandish and just plain crazy. It’s a poorly thought out concept, ” says Federated Farmers’ Environment Spokesperson Chris Allen.

“As a High Country farmer you’d be worried about your livestock and your own welfare for that matter, this would actually become a health and safety issue.

“The truly worst case scenario for any farmer is a rogue animal on their property or nearby.”

Federated Farmers trusts the Ministry will make a sensible decision and banish this idea. Its widely acknowledged that snow leopards are a pest to landowners in Mongolia – as they are known to attack livestock.

New Zealand is in the fortunate position of being free of native fierce creatures.

Introduced ones like pigs do a lot of damage to farmland and also prey on young stock.

The idea of saving the snow leopard by introducing it to our high country might sound noble from the safety of Hawkes Bay.

To those of us closer to the danger they’d present to people and stock it is as Feds say, crazy.

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