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Greens work on alternatives to 1080

Greens work on alternatives to 1080

The Green Party welcomes the new report on 1080 released today but remains committed to finding alternatives to the poison.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment released a favourable report today on the use of 1080 poison as a way of protecting our native plant and wildlife from stoats, rats, and possums.

“Looking after the wild places we love is one of our highest priorities. In practice, this means using 1080 as a measure of last resort in hard-to-get places where it is the only cost-effective way to control pests,” said Green Party spokesperson for conservation, Kevin Hague.

“Unlike Peter Dunne, however, we’re practically committed to providing alternatives to communities concerned by the use of 1080.” As part of a memorandum of understanding with the National Government, the Green Party has established a $4 million pilot project that will trial promising new resetting traps. If successful, the resetting traps will reduce the costs of pest control and the reliance on poisons like 1080 in areas accessible for ground-based trapping.

“We’d like to help communities who are no longer comfortable with the use of 1080 in their local environment,” said Mr Hague.

“To this end, we’ve worked with the Government to secure $4 million to trial resetting traps — a possible cost-effective alternative to 1080.

“We’ve also spoken out about Government cut-backs to research into alternative non-toxic control measures for pests. The closure of the research facility at Invermay was a big set-back.

“We’ve proposed costed measures to train and employ more people to trap possums, in conjunction with the fur industry, and employ more people to shoot goats and deer.

“At the Select Committee inquiry into the work of the Animal Health Board, we were successful in securing greater transparency of their 1080 operations.

“I have little time, however, for those who simply want to ban 1080 without offering constructive and credible alternatives to protect the wild spaces we love,” Mr Hague said.

Mr Hague noted that the PCE’s criteria for assessing the efficacy of pest control measures was particularly helpful but questioned why the report didn’t thoroughly consider resetting trap technology and subsidies to the fur industry and hunters to reduce possum numbers.

PCE Report “Evaluating the use of 1080: Predators, poisons and silent forests”: http://www.pce.parliament.nz/assets/Uploads/PCE-1080.pdf

Government closure of Invermay short-sighted: http://www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/government-lacks-cohesive-plan-pest-control

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