1080 or not 1080.
That is the question?
The first meeting is tonight –
How we can best present opposition to 1080?. This is to prepare for the Wednesday meeting – which is to advise why we need 1080 to be spread by helicopters in our town water catchment around Mt. Pihanga and Lake Rotopounamu. For this more official Wednesday meeting locals have been asked to come along with questions for OSPRI regards the planned 1080 aerial drop over this area.
So this is SWMBO”s suggestion… (She Who Must Be Obeyed is the Manager of TRM and anything else She can see around here as She always has an opinion, but you are warned, we suspect She might be a “sleeper eco-terrorist?”) For the Wednesday meeting SWMBO suggests all those attending to take along a small bottle of 100% pure Turangi water. Then request those “experts” who claim that 1080 is not poisonous to drink it. To make this work, they need to be warned it is laced with the safe deadly 1080 poison.
If they believe their own BS and are so convinced that it is harmless they will not hesitate.
If they refuse…
The big picture that troubles SWMBO is that if you emptied a container of 1080 into our water supply (Lake Rotopounamu?) you would be arrested for terrorist activity. Yet they can come to our precious little virgin part of NZ bush and dump it out of monsoon buckets into our water supply without local approval, despite everyone locally opposing it, and be immune from prosecution. To SWMBO’s mind, that is completely unfair and has to be wrong?
This flash of inspiration came from a slightly biased source – the 2017 book “Hunter in Captivity” by Peter Salter, who represented the West Coast/Tasman electorate as the candidate for the Ban 1080 Party in the 2014 election. (They polled third – predictably Labour and National were way out in front but the 1080 candidate still came in ahead of seven others.)
He writes: (P 94) “The whole method of using 1080 as a means to control pests is a very lazy form of conservation. To drop poison baits from a helicopter using a monsoon bucket is so indiscriminate that it is like using a B52 to carpet bomb a farm because a cow on it has foot and mouth. I have ventured into the area a few days after a 1080 drop and the bush is silent. Everything is dead. The birds the Department of Conservation has been trying to protect have perished in the green bombardment from the sky, along with the possums and a majority of the rats. We are told, like misinformed school children, not to worry, the birds will come back. But they haven’t gone on holiday. They are dead. Sure, in time new ones will recolonize the forest, but so will the possums, and at an even quicker rate, the rats. We have found that about a year after a poison drop we get a plague of rats come out of the bush in search of food as they strive to reestablish themselves.”
…then he goes on to say:
“The decline in certain species of birds has been quite profound. Kea and morepork are two that stand out but also bush robins, fantails, weka and tomtits have also taken a hit….. Back in 1969 it was estimated there were approximately 200,000 kea in the mountains of the South Island. That was around the time 1080 was first being used. Now they estimate there are only 2000 kea left in the country.”
What is all the fuss about?
The Department of Conservation says it is the most suitable poison for aerial drops to kill possums which are destroying native bush.
The New Zealand possum population is estimated at more than 70 million and chomps its way through seven million tonnes of vegetation a year.
Destroying possums limits the spread of tuberculosis from the pests to livestock on farms. Left unchecked, it is estimated TB could could cost the deer, beef and dairy industries industries up to $5 billion over 10 years.
But opponents say the poison kills not only pests, but also native birds and wildlife such as kiwi. Further, they say, it is a cruel method of pest control and may contaminate the ground and waterways.
Hunters oppose 1080 because it kills deer and recreationists say it makes a mockery of New Zealand’s claim to be clean, pure and green.
This year on the West Coast, 1080 opponents stole 100kg of poison pellets from a pest control company and threatened to kill pets to demonstrate the pain it causes.
What is 1080?
While manufactured 1080 is a highly lethal poison to many species, the active ingredient, fluoroacetate, is identical to a substance that occurs naturally in many poisonous plants.
These plants are found in Brazil, Africa, and Australia.
1080 comes in several forms, usually in small dyed green pellets, but also sprayed with carrot baits, pastes and gels.
How long has it been used here?
1080 has been used in New Zealand for pest control since the mid-1950s and is the only poison registered for aerial drops. It is also used in Australia, USA, Mexico and Israel. However, New Zealand uses about 80 per cent of the world’s production of manufactured 1080.
How does it work?
Whether laid on the ground, or dropped from the sky in large remote areas, the 1080 is eaten by the animal.
If enough is ingested, the poison disrupts the process of breaking down food to provide energy for cells to function. Once the animal has run out of energy, it dies from heart or respiratory failure.
Herbivores like possums become lethargic and usually die within 6-18 hours from cardiac failure. Carnivores experience problems with their central nervous systems and may suffer convulsions before dying.
What are the risks?
In June, West Coast man Ryan Fitzmaurice lost his pet labrador, Tigger, which died after eating a possum that had 1080 in its system.
The possum had been poisoned by a drop near his home.
Mr Fitzmaurice was offered undisclosed compensation by the pest control company. Humans are also at risk if they ingest 1080.
What measures are taken to keep the public and their animals safe?
DoC must also talk to communities where 1080 operations are planned, let the public know an operation is going ahead and put up signs to show areas where poisoning has taken place.
* Sources: Department of Conservation, NZ Herald
So here are some peer-reviewed scientific facts to balance out the nonpeer reviewed selective BS from the anti-1080 wahoos i.e. hunters pretending to be environmentalists who deliberately cherry pick and distort the science and research to support their POV.