The protection status of Canada geese as a game bird will be changed to allow farmers, park owners and aviation managers to cull these birds themselves, Minister of Conservation Kate Wilkinson announced today.
Canada geese will be removed from Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Act 1953 and listed on Schedule 5. This means that Fish and Game will no longer manage the geese as a hunting resource. A permit will not be required to shoot them.
“As the population of Canada geese continues to increase so does their risk to aviation safety and the damage they inflict to pasture and crops,” Ms Wilkinson says.
“The current status where the geese populations are managed as a game bird is not working.
“Farmers have been getting increasingly frustrated with these birds fouling pasture and damaging crops.
“They also pose an aviation hazard due to their large size and this change will allow for the birds to be more effectively controlled where they pose a risk to aircraft safety.”
Ms Wilkinson says there are tens of thousands of Canada geese across the country and recreational hunting opportunities will remain.
“I would expect Fish and Game will be able to work with landowners to assist with managing populations around the country.
“The geese are well established and on top of that farmers will have an incentive to provide hunting access to reduce their goose control costs.”