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DoC Poison Drop Kills 8 Cows - Farmers Tell Their Story

TV Wild Press Release - 24th September 2018

DoC Poison Drop Kills 8 Cows - Farmers Tell Their Story

On the 6th of September the Department of Conservation undertook an aerial 1080 poisoning operation across the Mapara Reserve and surrounding bush blocks, which included private land blocks. The poisoned area is a 20 minute drive, south east of Te Kuiti.

Several days after the aerial operation was completed, 8 cows were found dead on pasture land, and another two cows have since aborted their calves. Clyde Graf visited with affected farmers and filmed an interview with them. The video interview can be viewed by clicking on the link, below.

In response to the likelihood of this aerial 1080 poisoning operation mishap, the Department of Conservation claimed on TV One News that the cows "likely" broke through the paddock they were held in and accessed and consumed toxic baits. However, Clyde Graf stated in response to the DoC claim "If this statement by the Department of Conservation is true, then the cows would have had to break through a fence - dozens of them - locate the toxic baits, and then during this time of bait-browsing, withstand the on-set of the poisoning effects, and then make their way back to the paddock where they were originally held, to die.”

Graf went on to say “when animals are found dead from 1080 poisoning, they are most often found dead in the vicinity they were poisoned, not a substantial distance from where they were exposed. If DoC's initial assessment is correct, and the cows did break through a fence to access the baits, then it is more than likely that some of the dozens of cows exposed, would have died in the poisoned zone. However, no dead or alive cows were found in the operational area."

When the news broke, Clyde Graf discussed the incident with the SPCA, and says the SPCA was keen to investigate. He went on to say "however, two days later I was informed that the Ministry for Primary Industries had put a stop to the SPCA investigation, and a Memorandum of Understanding, held between the SPCA and the Ministry of Primary Industries, was cited to me by SPCA as the reason why.”

Lawyer Sue Grey, acting for the farmers involved, stated in the video interview that incidents of poisoned farm stock are common. She also states that in most cases the Department of Conservation pays out affected parties and insists on confidentiality agreements being signed.

The farmers involved, Mark and Paula Stone, stated that they were disappointed they gave their consent for the aerial operation to be carried out across the 4 hectare block. Paula Stone says in the interview "you take what the Ministries say, you take their advice .... now I feel like an absolute fool for listening to that, and shocked that they've chosen an area to put this poison in that leads into open paddocks as close as this, is just bizarre ... so why have they put it here? They're the ones that are supposed to be advising us and protecting us and being honest, and I don't feel that that has happened. So I feel very, very sad about the whole situation, and I feel awful that I didn't ask them more questions before they started their operation."

On hearing about the death of the cows, Kathy White, Waikato Regional Councillor for Taupo-Rotorua stated "there are a lot of poison drops in the area around Lake Taupo, and I'm concerned about the number of dogs, livestock and wildlife that are killed unintentionally and reported to me. Dogs in have a particularly cruel death."

Councillor White went on to say that "I'm worried that there's a lack of balanced information given to people in consultation. In many cases, like this one in Mapara, the farmers feel that they haven't been adequately informed of the risks to their stock, or been offered alternative methods of pest control. It's important that people realise they can say no to these extremely hazardous toxins being used on their land."

To view the video interview with the farmers involved, click on this link ... https://youtu.be/uLV1uNaTlA0

ENDS

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