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Intimidation of staff 'deplorable': DOC

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/10/2016

Threats and abuse from anti-1080 protesters towards Department of Conservation staff and their families won't be tolerated, the agency says.

DOC says there have been a number of incidents of intimidation over the past few weeks as part of attempts to disrupt aerial operations on the West Coast and in Fiordland.

There has also been damage to a vehicle on private property and vandalism to DOC signs.

Director-general Lou Sanson says each incident has been reported to police.

He says people have a right to lawful protest, but abusing and threatening workers who are protecting New Zealand's wildlife and forests is "deplorable".

"We will not tolerate any threats or actions that put the safety of our staff or contractors at risk," he said.

Mr Sanson said the protests would not stop the department from completing its Battle for Our Birds programme to protect vulnerable native species like kiwi, kaka, kea and whio from predators.

He said scientific monitoring had shown that at-risk birds and bats benefited from aerial 1080 pest control of rats, stoats and possums.

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