Hard Decision to be made regarding Arapawa Goats
The Arapawa goats which can be found in the Marlborough Sounds are a recognised unique and rare breed which are thought to be the descendents of the goats which were released on the island by Captain James Cook on 2 June 1773.
Unfortunately the goats are settled in an area where attempts to regenerate growth of natural New Zealand flora and forna are been made and the eradication of any introduced species is a must. DOC states that the goats are encroaching on their attempts to protect rare coastal vegetation and a cull must be carried out to control the number of goats on the land. This method has apparently been used for the past 20 years.
But the supporters of the goats claim that the goats are as rare as the native vegetation, and are backed by a DNA test which was carried out at the University of Cordoba in Spain which states that the goats are in fact unique.
I feel that there is no right or wrong answer, DOC, who want to protect rare and endangered species of animal and plants native to New Zealand, state that they are only killing to control numbers, not to eradicate the population. However, it has to be recognised that if the Arapawa goats are descendents of those brought on Captain Cook’s voyage and from early European settlements, they are also part of New Zealand’s rare heritage. Since the goats are a part of New Zealand heritage, should we kill off one part of New Zealand’s historical animal and plant life to save another?