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Basically a Fur Trade..."SKIN THE BEST and PLUCK THE REST"


On New Zealand's North Island at the Bay of Plenty, another backyard possum fur trader, BASICALLY BUSH, runs a thriving business slaughtering Brushtail Possum for profit. It's just like the good ol' days of the 19th Century.

It seems the preferred kill method is by shooting..."Be careful not to get rubbish into the bag, and that you don't end up dropping bullets or spent shells in." But then they sell traps to possum poachers as well, so take your pick.





Check out the possum trap called 'Bushmaster No 1':

A good sound trap, leg hold. Freight Costs incl GST: 1 - 12 traps: $6.50 12 - 24 traps: $17.00 24 - 48 traps: $25.00 48 - 96 traps: $65.00 Please add the cost of freight to your payment.

Basically Bush's motto is "SKIN THE BEST and PLUCK THE REST"
It claims "this exciting raw material that has revolutionised the knitwear industry in New Zealand. Possum fibre is referred to as 'possum merino' and is promoted as 'lighter than cashmere'

And profits are healthy. Back in 2007, "there has been a marked increase in fibre availability since we raised the price to $105/kg. "This increase was necessary to make sure that there was enough raw material to meet the needs of domestic production. "

These pest controllers have now gone international, making trips to India to promote fur sales, with brands like 'Snowy Peak' and 'Woolyarns'.

Click here to meet the poaching team.

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Comments

Subject was: Skin The Best, Pluck the Rest. - JS

Just like to point out that Brushtail Possums are a feral animal in NZ, and therefore eradication is totally warranted in my opinion. I take exception at the emotive use of the word "slaughtered", and would like to ask you what you think the solution should be? Good on the Kiwi's for finding an economic use for these pests, if only Australia would do the same with the rabbit, fox et al.

Opposing the killing of all animals is in no way a responsible attitude for a true environmentalist to have, so I feel you should research the matter further before condemning the actions of others.

With Regards
Peter (South Coast NSW)

There is no doubt that possums are a problem in New Zealand but I wouldn't condone the use of the trap they are selling. There is killing and then there is torture... and then killing. For the record Australia has attempted to find uses for rabbits and foxes in the past. In fact the authorities of the day back in 1919 resisted the release of the myxoma virus as they were worried about the rabbit meat and fur industry. Akubra used feral rabbit skins for their hats until the calicivirus was released, feral cat fur was exported until the late eighties and fox skins periodically become economically viable to export depending on the market price. Personally I don't believe any country should be exporting fur, feral or not as it just greys the issue of the fur trade and in particular the horrific fur farms in countries such as China.

Colonial New Zealanders relocated Australian Brushtail Possums to New Zealand from the early 19th Century. Kiwi possum poaching currently just perpetuates the slaughter for the same reason as then - possum fur, not to eradicate them at all.

Anyone who takes exception to killing possums in large numbers (i.e the definition of 'slaughter') should be contributing alternatives. But Peter seems to be condoning the poaching practice. The numbers are not reducing, but the profiteers are. How backward!

The pent up frustrations about possums are typically Kiwi. Australians mainly get annoyed with possums only when they are in the roof space, so I assume our Peter is a feral Kiwi downunder on the South Coast.

Now would it be right to treat all ferals the way Peter suggests - an economic use?

What is the right way to remove introduced animals?

If you like to read the other contributions, you may realise that some research has been made by this author into the Kiwi problem, which a number of ethical pragmatic solutions made. It remains an avoided Kiwi ecological problem.

Article 1

Article 2

Article 3

Article 4

Offer genuine argument to solve the problem, rather than slinging mud from the hip.

Tiger Quoll
Snowy River 3885
Australia

What exactly is the problem you have with this issue TQ?

Fur trade, meat trade, leather trade, they are all simply the use of animal products that everyone in society makes use of.

Do you have any leather products in your house or on your feet? Bet you do.

Your unnatural obsession with kangaroos and possums does not put you on higher moral ground.

If someone makes a dollar out of it good for them!

So we have an 'Anonymous' blow-in contributor slagging off a few one liners without any recognition of reasoned argument - suggesting a passing troll on the turps leaving nothing but vile.

Should I bother?

Well, I offer the following response not to the above immature Troll, but to those readers following the issue and interested in a response.

So I respond to our blow-in Troll's statements (above):

Troll grunt 1: "What exactly is the problem you have with this issue TQ?"

Tigerquoll: Try reading the above comment which provides links to previous articles.

Troll grunt 2: "Fur trade, meat trade, leather trade, they are all simply the use of animal products that everyone in society makes use of."

Tigerquoll: Your claim of "everybody in society" is a generalisation within your head unless you care to provide evidence. I don't wear fur, eat wildlife meat or the skins of wildlife, so whom is this "everybody in society"? If you don't personally wear wildlife fur, eat wildlife meat, and wear wildlife skins then your credibility starts with you. Send us a photo of you all dressed up in wildlife fur and skin eating wildlife meat. It would evidence your claim!

Troll grunt 3: "Do you have any leather products in your house or on your feet? Bet you do."

I have no wildlife products in my house.

Troll grunt 4: "Your unnatural obsession with kangaroos and possums does not put you on higher moral ground."

I argue that Australia's wildlife (including all species of kangaroo and possum as well as dingo and platypus and koala for instance have an existence right to live and a habitat right to roam free within their natural home ranges.

So how do you justify "unnatural" and what basis do you have to assume "obsession" rather my arguments as being just my view?

Poaching wildlife is wrong, be it State-sanctioned or not.

Australia's wildlife have existence rights and habitat conservation rights which supercede any intimidating rights of new invaders - colonialists, migrants.

If not, then to follow your argument, then if Australia's native wildlife have no moral standing ("moral high ground") then any feral and a billion of more Chinese could argue that they have legitimate claim to Australia because they need the space and Australia is underpopulated.

Troll grunt 5: "If someone makes a dollar out of it good for them!"

Does this indicate your moral stance that if economic gain is to be made in any activity, then it is justified? Is self-interest to achieve monetray gain always justified? Pol Pot put people to work in Cambodia for economic gain. Read some history and think about your statement before replying.

Such one-liner commenters are just time wasters.

Tiger Quoll
Snowy River 3885
Australia

Dear oh dear, poor old TQ does not like one liners because it's just too simple and painfully obvious that he is wrong.

Most domestic livestock were once native to some land so what is the difference if Kiwis use possum?
Everyone has an impact on the planet if you eat, wear clothes , drive a car or live in a house you are making an impact.

If you care to look around yourself right now and think deeply about the origin off all products including the computer you use that is sucking fossil fuel energy you'll realise your a hippocrite.

Your need to try and "save" something makes you feel good about yourself. This elevates you to believe you are more moral than most. Your venomous response to most blow-ins is indicative of the need to only hear from your own kind.

Poor mental health is thus apparent.

If you feel I'm wasting your time then my mission is accomplished.

Editorial comment: In future, could you please focus on the issue at hand and avoid making personal attacks?

Anyway, environmentalists are all perfectly well aware that by going about their daily lives they unintentionally cause considerable harm to the environment for reasons largely beyond their control. An obvious example is the necessity of having to rely on private motor vehicles as a result of the abysmal standards of Australian town planning.

Nevertheless, we are hardly going to be effective in mitigating the effects of others, who are enriching themselves by systematically destroying the world's environment, if we all choose to live like hermits. - JS

Editorial comment was:

"Anyway, environmentalists are all perfectly well aware that by going about their daily lives they unintentionally cause considerable harm to the environment for reasons largely beyond their control. An obvious example is the necessity of having to rely on private motor vehicles as a result of the abysmal standards of Australian town planning."

Indeed. That is why environmentalists have few or no children - that is one of the few things in their power to arrest the multiplication of personal impact beyond their control. That is why environmentalists are so worried about population growth. And the growth lobby is looking for more consumption AND more people.

Some people who use 'environmentalism' symbolically may feel that they are more moral. Real ecologists, in my opinion, are worried about survival and realise that quality of life and health of biodiversity are the buffer-zones between mere survival and long-term quality of life.

After extensive traveling through NZ they seem to have a more grounded approach to their wilderness area management than Australians do. Public hunting areas, more liberal gun laws. Their national parks are beautiful, well managed and easily accessed. People seem to come to a sensible compromise in NZ, where in Australia the debate is completely polarized and as such is doomed to fail. Our national parks are a shambles. Home to ever increasing hoards of feral animals and basically unusable by the public (just check out the masses of signage in any Aussie park)