Otago Daily Times
Pest eradication should not affect local cats
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
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.’’]
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 email@example.com.
Paul Haymes Ipswich, England
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.
Maori Hill .....................................
BIBLE READING: You, who are protected by the power of God throughout faith. — 1 Peter 1:15.