Tahr, as you will know, live in the most inaccessible areas of our mountain ranges and are recognized as an introduced pest along with other game animals, but while the damage they do is real, keeping numbers at a manageable level has become a political issue.
The Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage, wants the Government to fund an organized cull at the expense of the taxpayer, National spokesperson for conservation, Jacqui Deans, wants the reduction to be in the hands of licensed and professional hunting guides.
The former costing an undisclosed figure, the later a chance for New Zealand to cash in on the very profitable trophy industry.
Looking at the numbers controlled by professional guides, about 18,000 have fallen to hunters during the past 3 years bringing many thousands of overseas funds onto our shores.
The economic damage done by rabbits throughout the country and their control would, perhaps, be a better target than reducing livelihoods of guides and recreation for local hunters.