Fish & Game NZ is cautioning hunters against jumping the gun on Canada Goose culls.
Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson earlier this month announced that Canada geese are to be moved from Schedule 1 to Schedule 5 of the Wildlife Act, which will take away the protection status of the birds.
Fish & Game chief executive Bryce Johnson says the announcement has left hunters and landowners confused about the current status of Canada geese, and points out that they are still protected until the law comes into effect.
“We’re being alerted to some groups of hunters and landowners who believe they can go out and hunt these birds now, outside the game season which doesn’t officially open until May 7.” he says. “that’s not the case at all.”
“They need to be aware that Canada geese are still protected as ‘game birds’ and fall under the management of Fish & Game until such time as the Minister’s decision becomes law.”
“While the Minister has signalled her intent to remove the protection status of Canada geese, the law has not yet changed, so shooting Canada geese out of season or with unspecified shot or firearms is illegal.”
Fish & Game NZ has not been notified about when the law will change, however the Department of Conservation states “…the change in status is expected to occur in two to three months time.”
“This means that the 2011 regulations and season for hunting Canada geese still apply and hunters must adhere to these until the Minister advises the listing on Schedule 5 as unprotected species is law.” Johnson says.
For more information visit the Department of Conservation website:
Information on change to Canada geese status
Fish & Game NZ
- +64 (021) 994768