Petition to stop DOC culling tahr gains 40,000 signatures

4:14 pm on 5 July 2020

A petition to stop the Department of Conservation culling the Himalayan tahr has attracted nearly 40,000 signatures.

A jvenile tahr.

Photo: Supplied / Department of Conservation

The Tahr Foundation says DOC is planning a mass killing of thousands of the animals through the Southern Alps, including national parks.

Spokesperson Willie Duley said tourism operators are also opposing the cull because they stand to lose significant income and the cull would put more than 500 jobs on the line.

"The hunting industry's worth $100 million plus, then there's all those subsidiary businesses that benefit from tahr and through the hunting of them."

He said DOC sees tahr as a pest, and have ignored operators' requests for consultation.

"DOC's control plan is they will go out there in a helicopter, they will shoot thousands if not tens of thousands and they leave them rotting on the hillside and not one of those animals is recovered - and each bull's worth $14,000 alone to the economy, so it's such a wasted resource."

A Give A Little page set up to help fund the Tahr Foundation's legal battle to protect tahr has so far raised nearly $70,000, Duley said.

The foundation is filing an application for an interim injunction next week to stop the cull.

Earlier this year, Forest and Bird sought a high court declaration claiming DOC's plan to cull tahr was illegal because it believes the plan does not go far enough.