Waimate sheep-and-beef farmer Matt Simpson has recreational hunters on his land year round so he can stay on top of wallaby numbers. In the past year, hunters shot 2300 of the introduced pest species. Matt Simpson’s 4000-hectare farm in the Hunter Hills borders the DOC estate, which is also overrun with the marsupials. He says the Wallabies eat grass intended for the sheep and cattle and their droppings foul what’s left. Federated Farmers has joined Forest & Bird and the NZ Institute of Forestry in calling for political parties to provide much higher funding for pest control. Simpson says the Hunter Hills in South Canterbury are “riddled with” wallabies. Forest & Bird’s Nicky Snoyink is very concerned by budget cuts for DOC proposed during the election campaign by National and ACT. Federated Farmers president Wayne Langford says large introduced species are a problem up and down the country with herds or packs chewing through a fair bit of feed meant for livestock. He says it is frustrating for farmers planting seedlings to protect water quality and soak up greenhouse gas to then see those plants simply become goat and pig food overnight.
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