Otago Daily Times

Pest erad­i­ca­tion should not af­fect lo­cal cats

- Hobbies · Pets · Dunedin · New Zealand · England · Louisiana · Ipswich · Ipswich · Reading

I AM most alarmed to read of an on­go­ing pest erad­i­ca­tion ex­er­cise be­ing car­ried out in my area by an or­gan­i­sa­tion called the Val­ley Project, sup­ported by the Dunedin City

Coun­cil.

Traps are be­ing laid and set tar­get­ing pos­sums, rats, hedge­hogs and fe­lines.

While the ra­tio­nale for this is am­ply sup­ported by en­vi­ron­men­tal dam­age con­cerns in the mat­ter of cats, I am wor­ried that do­mes­tic pets are be­ing caught and killed.

I can con­firm that sev­eral pet own­ers are ad­ver­tis­ing their miss­ing mog­gies at the present time.

It is a damn­ing in­dict­ment on some of the pub­lic that many of the wild cats, once pets, have been cal­lously aban­doned and left to fend for them­selves.

As a cat owner my­self, I re­quire re­as­sur­ances from the DCC and the Val­ley Project that do­mes­tic pets are not be­ing trapped and culled, and that a hu­mane ap­proach is ac­corded to all oth­ers.

Clive McNeill North East Val­ley

[Dunedin City Coun­cil parks and re­cre­ation ser­vices act­ing group man­ager Scott Ma­cLean replies:

‘‘The Val­ley Project is work­ing in part­ner­ship with City Sanc­tu­ary. City Sanc­tu­ary is one of three Preda­tor Free Dunedin projects and is be­ing de­liv­ered by the DCC. The City Sanc­tu­ary project ac­tively traps for rats, pos­sums and mustelids as these are the tar­get species of the na­tional Preda­tor Free 2050 ini­tia­tive.

‘‘All traps used are ap­proved by the Na­tional An­i­mal Wel­fare Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee to kill tar­get species hu­manely. The traps are de­signed, in­stalled and baited to en­sure the risk to cats is elim­i­nated. A re­search project to as­sess how cats in­ter­act with the trap types be­ing used, called ‘‘How safe is my cat?’’, found that cats showed no in­ter­est in the trap mech­a­nisms what­so­ever.’’

The Val­ley Project Project leader Tess Trot­ter replies:

‘‘The Val­ley Project col­lab­o­rates with City Sanc­tu­ary to sup­port com­mu­nity preda­tor con­trol through trap­ping as part of our Back­yard Eco­sanc­tu­ar­ies project. The pro­gramme tar­gets spe­cific preda­tor species, namely rats, pos­sums and mustelids. This is one as­pect of a wider pro­gramme to es­tab­lish an ur­ban eco­sanc­tu­ary safe for na­tive wildlife, and peo­ple, to en­joy.

‘‘Fe­lines are not a tar­get species, nor are they at risk of be­ing trapped. Traps are de­signed, in­stalled and baited in a man­ner that mit­i­gates the risk of do­mes­tic an­i­mals be­ing in­jured or killed.’’]

Fam­ily links

I AM keen to com­mu­ni­cate with any de­scen­dants of Jesse Haymes who died dur­ing the 1930s. He was quite well­known in his day as a union of­fi­cial.

Of even more in­ter­est, and go­ing fur­ther back, is his mother, Mary Ann Haymes (my great­great­great­grand­mother), who died in New Zealand around 1905 but not in Dunedin. They both em­i­grated to New Zealand in the late 1800s.

I would like to learn more about both of their lives in New Zealand and es­pe­cially ob­tain any known pho­tos. Any­one with in­for­ma­tion could email me at al­bion8844@hot­mail.com.

Paul Haymes Ip­swich, Eng­land

Covid­19

A MOST telling ar­ti­cle by Lyn­ley Hood (Opin­ion, 14.10.20), com­par­ing death tolls from Covid­19 be­tween Louisiana and New Zealand, which share a sim­i­lar pop­u­la­tion.

The Louisiana death toll as at Septem­ber 30 stood at 5308, while New Zealand’s stood at — and still stands at — 25.

Thank you, Jacinda, for go­ing ‘‘hard and early’’. We owe you at least an­other term as prime min­is­ter for that, leav­ing Ju­dith on her knees.

Lois Galer

Maori Hill .....................................

BIBLE READ­ING: You, who are pro­tected by the power of God through­out faith. — 1 Peter 1:15.

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