Possum control is a relatively new industry that has emerged in New Zealand
after the collapse of the once lucrative fur industry. The possum is not unique
to New Zealand but was originally introduced from Australia and has since become
a serious pest, causing severe defoliation of the native and exotic forests and
also carrying and spreading Bovine TB, which puts the nationally important beef
export industry into jeopardy.
Westpest Contractors are involved in possum control operations throughout the
Westland region. Much of the work is on land adjacent to farmland where possums
are known to carry Bovine Tuberculosis. The work is performance based contracts
and payment is only made after a stringent monitoring programme is carried out
by Animal Health Board staff. When fur markets are buoyant it is also feasible to
collect skins or plucked fur for sale.
The most reliable way to achieve these targets is by setting up baitstations
containing either Cyanide paste or 1080 pellets, or when poison shyness is a
problem, using traps.