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Call for reason in 1080 debate


14 August 2008

Call for reason in 1080 debate

Federated Farmers is calling for reason in the 1080 debate that has intensified in the West Coast and Coromandel regions over the past few weeks.

Federated Farmers spokesman for the environment, Lachlan McKenzie says 1080 is the most effective available option for the control of possums and without it the New Zealand beef export trade could be put at risk.

"Current research highlights that 1080 is by far the best available tool to control and eradicate bovine Tb within New Zealand, said Mr McKenzie.

"This has become a highly emotive debate and the facts must be considered. The Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) carried out extensive public consultation last year and came to the decision to allow the continued use of 1080 for pest control purposes. This finding was based on science and sound reasoning.

"Federated Farmers supports the call by ERMA for more research into alternative methods of pest control but concedes 1080 as the best option at this time.

"Risks associated with 1080 usage are acknowledged, however Federated Farmers believes that these risks can be, and are adequately managed.

Federated Farmers is working closely with the Animal Health Board to ensure that 1080 is being safely applied.

Mr McKenzie says the other outcome from poisoning possums is the huge benefits to New Zealand's native flora and fauna and this is why DOC, Forest and Bird and regional councils are also very supportive of the use of 1080.

"Farmers are custodians of the land. They care about biodiversity. Many of our members have observed positive effects once 1080 has been implemented in their area. They have reported a significant increase in birdlife and rejuvenation of native bush due to a decrease in the possum population.

Federated Farmers will continue to be proactive on vector management as the benefits are to farmers, the New Zealand economy and biodiversity.

ENDS

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