23 Jul 2013

Wasted possum skins makes no sense - tanner

3:54 pm on 23 July 2013

A New Zealand tanner says China would take every possum pelt we could send them - yet the government spends oodles of taxpayer money poisoning them and leaving them to rot in the bush.

Adam Cowie runs Animal Skin Tanning Services in Invercargill and he says while New Zealand's bush is pulsating with possums he's struggling to fill orders.

"Talking to a couple of the other bigger players around the country, and the Chinese would take every single possum we've got in this country - if they could and if we could get it to them."

Mr Cowie says it's illogical to spend tax payer dollars spreading poison all over the country than employ people to get the possums and make some money out of it.

Mr Cowie also says not enough of the possums that are being trapped are being skinned with catchers preferring to pluck the possums despite a good skin being worth more money.

He says carrying fur out of the bush requires a deal less effort and fur fetches $120 a kilo.