Many ap­ply for pest con­trol work

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery -

A na­tion­wide call by the An­i­mal Health Board for po­ten­tial new pos­sum and fer­ret ground con­trol con­trac­tors has re­turned nearly 100 re­sponses.

The board’s aim is to en­hance its pool of pre­qual­i­fied con­trac­tors across New Zealand who can be called upon to ap­ply for spec­i­fied ground con­trol work.

Robert Allen, the board’s con­tracts man­ager, said some par­tic­u­larly high qual­ity ap­pli­cants had replied to news­pa­per ad­ver­tise­ments, invit­ing ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est.

‘‘We re­ceived a large and di­verse range of ap­pli­ca­tions from some highly qual­i­fied and promis- ing po­ten­tial pest con­trol con­trac­tors,’’ said Mr Allen.

‘‘Three con­trac­tors from this batch of ap­pli­cants have al­ready been as­signed to pos­sum and fer­ret ground con­trol pro­grammes through­out the coun­try.

‘‘Many of the ap­pli­cants have a pas­sion for the out­doors and some are look­ing for a health­ier work life­style and more job sat­is­fac­tion than they per­haps get in their cur­rent oc­cu­pa­tion.

‘‘We re­ceived ap­pli­ca­tions from a wide va­ri­ety of back­grounds, in­clud­ing those who are new to the in­dus­try and those who are think­ing about start­ing up their own small-scale pest con­trol busi­ness.’’

The board is now in the process of send­ing an in­for­ma­tion pack to each ap­pli­cant. Once their in­ter­est in the role has been con­firmed the board may help them to be­come a qual­i­fied ground con­trol con­trac­tor.

‘‘Ground-based pest con­trol meth­ods, such as trap­ping, sur­vey­ing and mon­i­tor­ing, form an im­por­tant part of the TBfree New Zealand pro­gramme.’’

The call for con­trac­tors com­ple­ments the board’s re­cently up­dated tu­ber­cu­lo­sis con­trol strat­egy. The strat­egy aims to erad­i­cate the disease from wildlife across 2.5 mil­lion hectares of the area known to be in­hab­ited by tu­ber­cu­lo­sis­in­fected wild an­i­mals, such as pos­sums and fer­rets.

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