Friday, January 31, 2014

1080 drop.

In 2010, I did a post on 1080, now the New Zealand Government is thinking of dropping them again.

photo shows an Australian possum.

1080 is the brand name given to the synthetic version of sodium fluoroacetate - a toxic, odourless, white powder compound, which naturally occurs in plants, acting as a powerful defence. However the synthetic version, 1080, is far more potent and kills. New Zealand is the largest buyer of 1080 in the world, using over 80 per cent of the chemical produced.
1080 is distributed in laced bait via ground and aerial application by the Department of Conservation (DoC) and the Animal Health Board (AHB). It is mainly used to kill possums, however other ‘pests', including feral cats, rabbits, rats and stoats, are also targeted.
1080 is banned in several countries, including Brazil, Belize, Cuba, Laos, Slovenia and Thailand, as well as in some states of the United States where aerial distribution and its use on all mammals but coyotes is prohibited.


Opponents of the controversial poison 1080 are furious at a planned bombardment and say the Conservation Minister is misleading the public.

Rat and stoat numbers are expected to skyrocket this year as their food supply is boosted by an unusually large seed drop from beech trees, known as a mast.

The Department of Conservation's (DOC's) five-year battle plan will double the amount of conservation land protected through the use of 1080.

The $21 million project aims to protect 25 million native birds a year over the next five years.

Hailed as DOC's largest-ever species protection programme and dubbed the 'Battle for our Birds', it was unveiled yesterday by Conservation Minister Nick Smith.

"Our native birds are in decline and the kiwi will not exist in the wild for our grandchildren unless we do more to protect them," Dr Smith said.

The application of 1080 is backed by scientists researching predator control, and the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright, has called for more use of it.

But Farmers Against 1080 (FATE) spokeswoman Mary Molloy, a South Westland dairy farmer, said she was appalled that Dr Smith had also claimed 1080 did not kill birds. DOC's own records showed that between 2 per cent and 80 per cent of specific bird species were killed by 1080 drops, she said.

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