The Taranaki Regional Council is seriously concerned about the illegal release of sika deer in north Taranaki.
“Every effort needs to be made to deal with this illegal, selfish and cynical act,” says the Taranaki Regional Council Chairman, David MacLeod.
“These deer have the potential to cause serious and long-lasting harm to Taranaki’s economy and biodiversity. Not only is there the risk from diseases such as bovine tuberculosis, these animals will cause serious damage to the bush and valuable ecosystems in the surrounding area.
‘It’s essential that the strongest possible response is brought to bear to eradicate these animals, especially at this time of year when some are likely to be carrying young. Hunting sika deer is much more difficult than for other species, so specialist skills and expert resources are urgently required to deal with these animals.
Mr MacLeod says the release of these deer is a despicable act and the perpetrators need to be identified, prosecuted and severely punished.