Working as a community to eradicate pests

Southlander Jayden Owen-Cooper learns how to trap a possum with the Deep south community pest board
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Southlander Jayden Owen-Cooper learns how to trap a possum with the Deep south community pest board

A group of Southlanders are determined to get pests under control in their community.

Shane Wilson, Jimi Bull and Jodie Bull founded the Deep South Community Pest Board in December 2016. 

Wilson said they formed the group to help members in the community learn how to control pests on their properties and neighbouring forestry blocks. 

The group has opened up a Trap and Train programme for the next generation of Southlanders. 

The course, which cost $100, taught people how to humanely find and trap pests such as possums. 

As part of the course, people were given a kit that included a legal leg-hold trap, bait, as well as training on how to collect fur and prepare carcasses to be processed as pet food. 

Pest control was something that could be better managed if everyone in the community worked together, Wilson said. 

"Pests are a problem in Southland, they are not good for the environment.

"If we don't do something about pests now, then it will only get worse.

"1080 is unnecessary, if the community worked together we would be able to control pests without it." 

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Although pest traps were not uncommon in Southland, they were not as common as they once had been, he said. 

"Education about pest control is really important in rural areas ... It is a skill that needs to be passed onto the next generation."

The programme encouraged youth to step up and help members of the community, Wilson said. 

"We have a lot of elderly people in the community who cannot lay traps and do their own pest control anymore.

"If we can help them out at the same time as learning something, that is a good thing." 

The course targeted children aged 7 and older but adults were more than welcome to come along and learn, he said. 

The Deep South Community Pest Board didn't make a profit, Wilson said. 

"All the money from the fur we plucked, meat we have taken in to be processed as pet food has gone back into the project."

Any extra money they had left over went into making sponsorships available to help families afford the starter kit, he said. 

To register visit the Trap and Train Deep South Pest Board Facebook page.

 - Stuff

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