Can you find out if those who have registered to cull the green iguanas have liability insurance? No one I know doing this will talk about that.
Auntie’s answer: The issue is a bit complicated and the answer not that straightforward. I received an explanation from the Department of Environment (DoE), which is in charge of the culling exercise, and will try to keep it as simple as possible.
First, it is helpful to understand how the culling workforce is structured. The registered cullers fall into two groups, a DoE official explained. One group comprises a few local companies, “some of whom are likely to have liability insurance, and who have staff they pay”.
However, the “vast majority” of cullers fall into the second group, which is composed of individuals who have registered and are performing the job themselves or arranging for others to cull for them, and then trading in the iguanas for payment.
So, back to your question, the official pointed out, “Few, if any, of these individuals will hold liability insurance policies – any more than a fisherman selling you their catch, for example, would be expected to hold liability insurance.”
Further complicating the issue is the fact that much of the culling is not being done by those who are registered, so “there is a large informal workforce out there that are catching iguanas and selling them to registered cullers, who then cash them in for a small profit margin at the landfill”.
These kind of arrangements make it pretty much impossible to determine who has liability insurance, the official said, adding that it was “reasonable to assume that most don’t”.
However, at the top of the culling pyramid is the cull manager, Cornwall Consulting, which is “contractually obliged to hold liability insurance”, though the “degree to which that covers the cullers is limited under the terms of the agreements between the cullers and the cull manager”.
Cornwall pays the cullers and runs the landfill reception operation. The company has signed agreements with all the registered cullers and the latter are bound by that agreement — and a parallel one with the DoE. Among the terms of the agreement are using acceptable culling techniques and obtaining permission to enter private property. In addition, the cullers are required to follow safe firearms practices as specified by their gun licences if they are using air rifles.
Registered cullers are also responsible for ensuring that anyone who works with them observe the same terms, the official explained, adding, “That is about as watertight as we can make it without limiting the size and effectiveness of the informal workforce, and the cull manager has a role in watching out for violations.”
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