Possyum, A Dog Food Made From New Zealand’s Marsupial Menace
“Dogs love Possum”
In New Zealand, there is a big problem with an ever-growing population of small, cat-sized critters, the non-native possum. Now considered the island country’s public enemy #1, the beady-eyed brushtail possum was introduced in 1837 to New Zealand from Australia as a way to establish a fur trade. Prior to this, New Zealand had evolved without such mammals for many millions of years. Not only are these marsupials dangerous predators to the South Pacific nation’s defensiveless indigenous species, they have also dramatically impacted its delicate ecosystem by multiplying into the millions and eating literally tons of the country’s vegetation each night. On top of all that, they are often carriers of the contagious disease, bovine tuberculosis.
As you can well expect, Kiwis –the nickname for the people of New Zealand– have a long-standing hatred of these nasty nocturnal pests and go to great measures to eradicate them. The fur of offed possums is mostly made into yarn, and its meat is sometimes, but very rarely, made into savory pies.
Businessman Bryan Bassett-Smith of Superior Chunky Pet Food got wise and started making a dog food packed with possum meat which is brilliantly named Possyum. It started as a tinned product but is now packaged as a dog roll. No word on how popular this product is or how healthy it is for hungry canines, but what an impressive way to turn “lemons” into “lemonade.”
The manufacturers of Possyum note this about their product on their website:
The removal of possums from our forests without the use of pesticides encourages the regeneration of New Zealands forests and the protection of our native birds.
If you’re dealing with unwanted possums yourself and have the desire to make your own fresh “Possyum” at home, you could start by picking up one of these “Possum Pluckers.” Kidding, please don’t.