The mighty hunting lobby has won concessions in the heated battle over the clearance of thousands of Himalayan Tahr.
Yesterday, a meeting took place between the conservation minister Eugenie Sage and hunting groups, including the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association and the Game Animal Council, as well as nature conservation organizations such as Forest and Bird, and iwi Ngāi Tahu with the hunting industry that came to the results with confidence.
The hunting fraternity says that Ms. Sage has withdrawn from positions that the industry found unacceptable and forced her to commemorate plans to clear 10,000 Himalayan Tahr from the Southern Alps.
The former president of the Deerstalkers Association Bill O & # 39; Leary told the RNZ that agreement had been reached at the meeting on a draft operational plan that would reduce the number of deaths – but he did not give a number.
He said that it was agreed that the original plan of the Department of Conservation was not suitable for the intended purpose and had to be adapted, including the number of animals that would be culled.
"The deal as such was not so much that they had to be reduced, about which we all agree, such as how many and where and who would do the job," said O & # 39; Leary.
He also said that there would be changes in the locations of the slaughter and a reduction in the number of males that would be killed, leaving horned trophies for trophy hunters.
O & # 39; Leary said that the meeting was productive and was attended by almost everyone with an interest in tahr, where a set of general principles was agreed.
Initially, Ms. Sage had proposed 10,000 tahr for the next eight months, but she said last night that DOC had adopted an adaptive management approach and would cost 6000 in the next six weeks.
Mrs Sage said that this would be reviewed after the summer, but that at the end of July DOC was still obliged to delete 10,000 tonnes.
She also said that DOC would not focus on the bull outside the national parks.
Ms. Sage said that there is an estimated 35,000 tahr on public nature conservation grounds and that the original Himalayan Tahr Control Plan, forged in 1993, had to limit the number to 10,000.
The Himalayan Tahr is a type of wild goat that is accused of destroying native vegetation.
But commercial and recreational hunters see it as a prized hunting trophy and said that the plans for clearing were based on an inadequate knowledge of the species.
The hunters were willing to go to court to fight the government and the ministry of conservation and spent $ 156,000 through Givealittle to pay for lawyers.
The hunters were also supported by the National Party that had started a petition against the extraction.