Stuff stuffed the headline

Federated Farmers was approached by a Stuff reporter asking questions about firearms.

The story was initially headlined Federated Farmers say AK-47 and AR-15 guns are needed to control pests on farms.

There is nothing in the story that says that. The headline was a complete misquote of what Feds spokesman Miles Anderson did say.

Feds were alerted to the headline but an email to members from chief executive Terry Copeland says the story stayed on the website for three hours and that it took intense pressure from the Feds comms team to get it altered.

The story is now headlined Federated Farmers says semi-automatic firearms have a place on farms.

The email says a phone call and an explanation from a Stuff Editor-in-Chief. Stuff has added its ‘regret’ about the misreporting at the bottom of the story.

That the mistake was made in the first place was at best careless, that it took three hours and intense pressure to get it corrected is appalling.

It is particularly disappointing when emotions are heightened in the wake of the mass murders in Christchurch and the need for quiet reason and facts on the issue of gun control are essential.

The email from Feds gives the questions and answers emailed from and to the reporter:

What do most farmers use guns for?

Mainly pest control (rabbits, possums, Canada geese and feral pigs) and humanely euthanizing livestock. Also recreational hunting and target shooting.

On average how many guns would one farmer own? Most farmers own a 0.22 for shooting rabbits and possums, a shotgun for ducks and geese and rabbit control, and a centrefire rifle for deer and pigs, and euthanizing large animals such as cattle.

Generally, what types of guns do farmers use? As above. Farmers use the right firearm for the right job. Quite a lot of the firearms farmers use for pest control are semiautomatic, such as 0.22 rifles and shotguns. These are used to target small fast moving pest species such as rabbits, hares, wallabies and Canada geese. For these species there are often only very limited opportunities to shoot at them and they are commonly found in groups. For Canada geese, for example, hunters may sit in a crop paddock all day for only a few opportunities to shoot at a mob of geese, which may arrive in a mob of up to 100 birds. Four geese eat as much as one sheep and shooting is the only way to control them.

Does the farming community support gun reform? Should the government make it harder for individuals to get gun licences?

Federated Farmers will participate in any process that reviews the law.

What is Fed Farmers’ opinion on military style semi-automatic guns for farming. How common are they? How necessary are they?

Military style semi-automatic rifles are not in common use by farmers. There is no need for general public sales of detachable, high-capacity semi-automatic rifle magazines.

For the record:

My farmer bought an air rifle (for which no licence is needed if you are aged over 18) a couple of years ago when rabbits started invading the lawn and garden. Neither of us owns any other firearm.

Some of our staff own rifles and shotguns which they use for controlling rabbits, possums, ducks, geese, deer and pigs, for recreational hunting and for the mercifully rare occasions when it’s necessary to euthanise cattle.

None own military style arms nor would they have any need to.

5 Responses to Stuff stuffed the headline

  1. Heather Adam says:

    When I was growing up, in Masterton, my dad owned a .22 for rabbit shooting and a 303 for deer hunting in the Tararuas, occasionally bringing home a Bambi for us to rear if the doe had been shot. When I was 9 I was taught how to use a .22. Imagine the outrage nowadays if a ‘townie’ girl was shown how to use a rifle ! I had no desire to use a rifle but it taught me a respect for firearms.

  2. adamsmith1922 says:

    Reblogged this on The Inquiring Mind and commented:
    More sloppy and biased journalism

  3. Andrei says:

    While most New Zealanders a rightfully in mourning and shocked disbelief over this outrage every political whore with an agenda is scrambling over the bodies of the dead to advance their own cause

    Enough already

  4. Murray Roxburgh says:

    Recall the furore when some parents from Linton Camp introduced firearms at their local primary school.

    There is such a chasm of misinformation, if not outright ignorance around firearms and safe practice I thought that was something that could be expanded but no the snowflakes ended the information sharing.
    All the while violent images in computer games and movies continues unabated where the dead are not real.
    Alas the victims from the tragedy last Friday remain dead and mourned.

  5. Andrei says:

    It appears that the new reguations are actually sensible, though the reporting of them wont be

    But basically rim fire .22 semi automatics will still be legal for farmers with a rabbit problems but semi automatic center fire rifiles are out such as Green Party candidates civilianized AK47s (Saiga .762mm) are now out.

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