15 Dec 2011

Council rejects accusations of open season on ducks

5:21 am on 15 December 2011

Otago Regional Council is rejecting accusations it has made a late plan change against hunters' interests.

Otago Fish & Game says the council seems to have a secret agenda to end protection of introduced ducks such as mallards and grey ducks.

During consultation over proposals to strengthen the protection of the region's wetlands, council officers have proposed specific protection only for indigenous waterfowl.

But the regional council's director of policy and resource planning, Fraser McRae, says Fish & Game will not lose out.

Mr McRae says the planners have suggested that looking after the habitat for indigenous species will by its nature protect the habitat of game birds.

He says the councillors have heard Fish and Game's objections and will take them into account in their final decisions.