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Neighbourhood Support set up after poaching

By MARK HOTTON - The Southland Times

31 August 2009

Deer poaching in Central Otago was rife, police said, after a 17-year-old Alexandra man was arrested and charged over an incident last month.

Senior Constable Fred Aplin, of Omakau, said police believed the teenager used a spotlight and a high-powered rifle to shoot at a deer, firing from a road into a farm between Omakau and Alexandra on July 18.

Several shots were fired about 30m from a house, with a deer killed and gutted on the property.

It was a feral deer that had wandered on to the farm property when it was shot.

The youth had been charged with discharging a firearm in a public place and hunting on private property without the property owner's permission, an offence under the Wildlife Animal Control Act.

Mr Aplin said poaching in Central Otago hill country had become rife, with most rural property owners reporting poachers during the past 12 months.

"Property owners get frustrated when they've got bullets travelling across their land and animals are being shot on their property without their permission.

"People need to respect that these farms are private land and the farmer has a right to know who is on his property and to say no if he chooses."

The youth will appear in court in Alexandra tomorrow.

Mr Aplin is setting up a Neighbourhood Support team for property owners in rural areas, initially in the Omakau hills, Tarras, Lindis Pass and Cromwell, to tackle the problem.


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