Turning poison-free possums into pet food

16-07-2007 | |
Turning poison-free possums into pet food

Bryan Bassett-Smith makes pet food from possums and wants the New Zealand Government to stop using 1080 poison.

New Zealand has an estimated 70 million possums and Mr Bassett-Smith was
inspired to make use of the meat after seeing tonnes of skinned carcasses going
to waste during a hunting trip near Taupo in 2001. Bassett-Smith believes possum
meat has many benefits, not only for pets but even for humans. But first, he
argues, New Zealand must get rid of 1080, used to control possums and other
pests.

Native birds
The Department of Conservation
says aerial drops of 1080 are necessary to ensure the survival of native birds,
particularly the kiwi, but critics argue that it kills indiscriminately
(including the creatures it aims to protect), infects waterways and threatens
New Zealand’s clean-green image.

Addiction Foods
The
63-year-old already exports 10 containers a year of possum pet food from his Te
Puke business, selling to Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong, and recently making
his first shipment to North America. His company, Wildenz, has processed 290
tonnes of the flesh so far, exporting canned and dried pet food under the name
Addiction Foods, a company he runs with the help of Singaporean
shareholders.

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