Dog owner prosecuted over weka killing

The Department of Conservation (DOC) says it has laid three charges against a Hauraki Gulf resident whose dogs killed 14 endangered weka at the Kawau Island Historic Reserve in May this year.

The man is charged with allowing his dogs to enter a DOC reserve on two separate occasions, and with being the owner of dogs that attacked and killed protected wildlife - a charge that carries a maximum penalty of three years in jail and/or a $20,000 fine.

He is due to appear in Warkworth District Court on December 8.

DOC's Warkworth biodiversity manager Rory Renwick said it was important dog owners realised the consequences to endangered wildlife of not having their dog under control, and that they could be prosecuted.

Dogs are not permitted in DOC's Kawau Island reserves, which make up about 10 per cent of the island.

Kawau Island is home to over a third of New Zealand's North Island weka population. North Island brown kiwi are also found on the island, and both species are vulnerable to dog attacks.

The North Island weka is a nationally endangered sub-species.

- NZPA

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