Jul 13, 2023
With Winter well and truly upon us now and heavy rainfall around most of New Zealand it is ironic that we are yet again having to do another submission on Freshwater which is due on 17th July 2023. With around 4 weeks between the opening and closing of the submission’s, are we able to achieve what we need to move forward and make some real change? The New Zealand Deer Farmers Association will be submitting on your behalf, but this is also an opportunity for you as an individual farmer to have your say. On our own property the “Low Slope Maps” have really missed their mark with some of the degrees in slope estimated at less than 5 degrees, but are more likely around 30 degrees. I do wonder with all this fantastic technology that we have available to us how can we get this simple measurement so far out?
Last month the Producer Manager, Lindsay Fung, and myself attended an Unlawful Hunting meeting held in Christchurch with many invested groups, all having the same problem with “Poachers.” The sad reality is that the financial impact that this is having on some farms is well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. One analogy that was used was “if someone walked into a shop and robbed it with a gun this would be armed robbery, but on a farm, it is simply poaching.” As a farmer and business owner it is hard to fathom a difference between the two, when an animal is worth anywhere from $ 1,000 upwards (trophy closer $ 30k plus) and a packet of smokes is $ 20, justice just does not seem to prevail. The most reassuring aspect of the day was that the New Zealand Police have a very proactive policy towards catching the perpetrators, but they need our help. The New Zealand Police have developed and are currently trialling an App that works in real time and will geolocate any crime that you report, a release date of April 2024 is anticipated.
Ashburton will be hosting the 11th New Zealand Deer Farmers Next Generation programme on the 3rd and 4th of August. With a focus on both venison and velvet, 50 young deer farmers will have an action packed two full days to appreciate what a wonderful animal we all have all come to enjoy and love working with.
- Justin Stevens, NZDFA Executive Committee Chair