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Environment Waikato 1080 charging gets users goat

16 June 2008

Media Release

Environment Waikato 1080 charging gets recreational users goat

The Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations (CORANZ) has labelled Environment Waikato's decision to charge rural landowners who want to use alternatives to 1080 poison, as "draconian and intimidating" tactics. CORANZ spokesperson Tony Orman said Environment Waikato's tactics were dictatorship behaviour rather than that a publicly funded body.

In addition, the attitude flew in the face of environmental reason and logic as well as being economically stupid.

"1080 is a toxin so poisonous to most forms of life that most countries shun or ban it. New Zealand, the size of one US state, consequently uses over 90 percent of the world's 1080. The clean, green, pure image Prime Minister Clark brags about is a complete facade," he said.

Diminishing numbers of native bird species from kiwi to robins, tomtits, moreporks, falcons and others were mute testimony to the devastation 1080 caused on birdlife.

"On animal cruelty grounds, 1080 is a slow acting poison, taking up to 24 hours to kill, slowly stifling life from a creature. Animal rights activists should be up in arms over that," said Mr Orman.

Mr Orman said publicly funded agencies like Environment Waikato, Animal Health Board and Department of Conservation should not hide behind the recent ERMA 1080 review which blessed 1080. This was a whitewash with government stacking the deck.

Economically Environment Waikato and government obsession with using 1080 poison from the government owned poison factory was a blinkered approach that ignored a potential resource and export in possum fur and meat. The use of 1080 renders all meat and fur poisonous and unable to be used. Other methods such as cyanide were humane and did not render meat or fur toxic.

"Possum fur is fetching up to $110 a kg while sheep's wool is just a few dollars a kg. EW's attitude is economically moronic," said Mr Orman.

He said Environment Waikato "should pull its head in", realise it's responsibilities as an organisation funded from public money and encourage sensible economic and environmental measures, rather than this very heavy handed attitude.

ENDS

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