move to save the unique goats of New Zealand's Arapawa Island

  • by: P.E. Van Alstyne,
  • recipient: stopping the scheduled killing of Arapawa goats in New Zealand
December 26 2007 ~ "There are feral strains that are of historical and
scientific interest, such as the Arapawa goats..." Conservation Society of
New Zealand 

Arapawa Island goats - Doomed to be culled in March 2008 - are believed to be
descendants of the Old English goats that died out in the UK during the
severe winter of 1954. There are, worldwide, no more than 360. 
Recognising that the Arapawa goat is a separate breed of goat and not a
crossbred feral, the Committee of the Rare Breeds Conservation Society of
New Zealand gave and approved the goats HYPERLINK
"""rare breed priority" listing at
its meeting of 27 May 2004. However, the new Minister for Conservation,
HYPERLINK ""Stephanie Chadwick, sees them -
not as a unique genetic resource - but as vermin. In connection with her
scheme for removing all "pests" from other islands she HYPERLINK
""recently spoke
of "restoring the islands and repopulating them with rare native species..."
- a sort of ethnic cleansing of fauna to preserve the flora. (The goats
nibble the trees and bushes but do not destroy them. See HYPERLINK
/ArapawaGoats ) 
We are told that between January 7th and 25th January the Arapawa Island
goats are to be shot. If you share our dismay, please HYPERLINK
""read more.
We, the undersigned, representing an international community of concerned citizens, stand opposed to the planned cull of the Arapawa goats. We feel that other actions that would spare the goat herd should be studied and or utilized. Actions such as using the feral goat herd as an eco-historic tourism mechanism to draw in visitors, or maintaining the goat herd for future agricultural/animal husbandry issues  should be reviewed and studied. To simply hunt and kill the goats could be viewed as shortsighted by future generations when  present day species (both domesticated and feral) are in decline globally.  Remember the Tasmanian Tiger, the passenger pigeon and other extinct species. Do not add to the list.  Our ancestors viewed the American bison to be a blight on the land and eagles were thought of as vermin.  Don't make the same mistakes.  Please, killing is forever, extinction is forever.   Please be careful, err on the side of caution and spare the goats- you never know - their genetic uniqueness might benefit humanity in the future. Once something is gone, it is gone forever.  Let us all try to maintain the richness of life!  Please spare the goats.  Remember, we do care!Thank you, I have faith you will be humane and just in your decision.With Respect,Patricia Van Alstyne
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