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Sutton’s 1080 Poison Outburst “Full Of Venom”

“The Minister of Agriculture Jim Sutton’s recent outburst against critics of 1080 poison was full of venomous prejudices and dangerously ignored public opinion, environmental considerations and marketplace economics” says New Zealand First MP Ron Mark.

“In his statement Mr Sutton called the deer stalking public who have continually raised concerns about 1080 poison, villains”. However Mr Mark said “the vast majority of the 70,000 deerstalkers were responsible people who understood the backcountry, the forests and wildlife populations.”

Mr Mark said “not only were deerstalkers concerned at the ‘indiscriminate and excessive’ blanket spreading of 1080 from the air, but high country farmers, professional trappers, pig hunters and a number of credible and moderate conservationists were also concerned.”

“I am concerned about a recent New Zealand TV documentary suggesting that New Zealand’s ‘clean/green’ image was a myth and cited aerial spreading of 1080 as an environmentally-bad practice” said Mr Mark.

“It needs little intelligence to understand that a country which bans or severely restricts 1080 would be alarmed at New Zealand’s widespread and haphazard use of the poison.”

“On the New Zealand programme the director general of the Department of Conservation said 1080 was selective (on possums).”

“I have news for the director general. It is non-selective and that’s the problem as it kills not only possums but wild deer, birds, pigs and even invertebrate insects on the forest floor,” he said.

“Nor was it quick acting as the department claimed taking from two to seven hours to kill.”

“The British film maker Terry Brownbill said European television viewers would be shocked by images of New Zealand’s on-going 1080 aerial poisoning campaign.”

“People have a view of New Zealand as being 100 percent pure, clean and green. But I think that halo will now be severely tarnished as other countries who ban the aerial distribution of 1080 come to realise what we do here. It is time the ‘yes’ Minister pulled his head out of the sand” concluded Mr Mark.


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