Former All Black spoken to over seal deaths

Andrew Hore, a former All Black hooker and now part of the junior All Black squad, was one of seven men spoken to by police over the shooting of protected fur seals in Otago.

The Taranaki player, who lives in Ranfurly, has not returned calls from the Herald for the past three days.

After the junior All Black training session in Christchurch yesterday, team management said he was not available for interviews.

The Department of Conservation and police have indicated charges will be laid over the incident, in which seals were allegedly shot near Dunedin on Sunday. There has been no suggestion that Hore would be charged.

The two departments have been working together on the case and Detective Senior Sergeant Kallum Croudis said yesterday that both agencies would press charges.

The number of people under investigation was not made clear.

Although DoC would handle any charges to be laid under the Animal Protection Act, police would deal with any others, including firearm charges.

He expected those to be charged would be summonsed next week.

The investigation arose after allegations were made that seals had been shot from a fishing boat on Sunday afternoon.

Police have since spoken to seven men, including Hore, who were believed to have been in the area. Two dead seals have been found so far.

A post-mortem examination confirmed that the first died from gunshot wounds. The results of the second examination were not available yesterday.

Hore and other junior All Blacks head to Australia on Sunday.

Their first game is against Queensland in Brisbane next Wednesday.

- STAFF REPORTER, NZPA

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