Slaughter of swans brings search

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A video capturing the slaughtering of black swans by a jetboat has resulted in a search warrant being executed in Katikati.

Footage of swans run over by people who appeared to be aiming for them in a high-speed jetboat in Tauranga Harbour on Boxing Day was circulated by someone disgusted at the spectacle. Some of the birds could be seen hurt and struggling in the boat's wake afterward. It was unknown how many were killed.

SPCA and Fish and Game officers carried out a joint operation at a Katikati address on Friday in connection with the video. In a joint statement, the two organisations said a search warrant was executed and a person was spoken to about the matter. Items were taken for examination.

Fish and Game and SPCA said a decision would be made in due course on any further action.

Black swans could be hunted in Tauranga with a permit, but Fish and Game communications adviser Grant Dyson said there was no official cull of the black swan on Tauranga Harbour by Fish and Game or the Department of Conservation, although unrelated organisation Western Bay of Plenty Fish and Game Club held an annual swan hunt.

"A group of hunters, as part of the normal game-bird hunting season, holds a co-ordinated hunt run within all the normal game-bird rules and regulations," he said. "Fish and Game's role is to issue a permit which allows the swans to be chased towards the hunters, and to ensure all the game-bird rules and regulations are followed."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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