I am a small player in the New Zealand possum industry.
OPINION: I have orders at present for more than 1000 tanned possum skins and am finding it hard to buy enough raw skins to fill these orders.
When I can fill these orders, it provides income for the trapper, my staff, my business, and tax revenue for the Government.
The big players in the industry are in the same position. We are all fighting to source raw skins to fill orders.
It defies logic that MP Nick Smith wants to continue using 1080 and even increase the amount used across the country.
All the possums that are killed this way are never harvested. They are left to rot.
Also, as I understand it, some Animal Health Board contracts forbid the contractors from skinning any possums killed as it slows them down and that is not what they are paid to do. So they are left to rot as well.
We have a resource in this country that has huge value in it.
Skinning or plucking them at least provides an income for the trapper and business for the tannery. This provides employment and therefore tax revenue.
The Chinese would take every possum New Zealand has if that was possible. They already buy most of the possum fur for the wool/possum-blend garments.
Obviously, it would be better for our economy if the skins were processed here then sold to China but as with everything, our cost to produce is too high.
I know all this has been said before and has fallen on deaf ears with politicians.
We all know 1080 kills all sorts of animals, not just possums. We also all know many countries no longer use it due to its toxicity on the environment. ''Clean Green NZ'' - yeah right!
Animal Skin Tanning Services Ltd
- The Southland Times