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Published: 2008-07-14 00:00:00

The Te Kuiti Pig Hunting Club is working with Environment Waikato to tackle an increased population of feral pigs affecting farming operations upstream of the Mangaokewa Gorge.

It follows complaints from a group of landowners that pigs are causing problems with pasture damage and disturbing stock. They asked for the council’s help in dealing with the pigs from the gorge and surrounding reserves.

Environment Waikato has facilitated a coordinated control programme to be undertaken by the Te Kuiti Pig Hunting Club in agreement with landowners.

"The main concern for the landowners was the amount of damage the pigs were inflicting to pasture combined with the potential disruption they cause throughout the lambing season," said Environment Waikato biosecurity officer Brett Bailey.

Environment Waikato met last month with members of the Tokoroa and Te Kuiti pig hunting clubs, the Department of Conservation and the affected landowners.

"It was decided at this meeting that the Te Kuiti Pig Hunting Club would undertake pig control using members in a coordinated hunting approach prior to lambing," said Mr Bailey.

The control will take place between 21 July and 27 July.

"Depending on how successful this control is, we may look at a follow-up operation in October after lambing has finished."

The land to be covered by the hunt includes the Waitomo District Council’s Mangaokewa Reserve, and DoC, LINZ and forestry land upstream to Manu Rd.

Public access to the reserve’s walking track and amenities will be closed to the public during the control period. More information is available by calling 0800 800 401.