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New Zealand First Appalled by Planned 1080 Increase

Richard Prosser MP
Spokesperson for Primary Industries
3 February 2014


New Zealand First says the Government’s announced intention to massively increase 1080 poison drops on DoC land to control possums, rats, and stoats is an appalling step in the wrong direction.

Primary Industries spokesperson Richard Prosser says the planned aerial bombardment of an additional 500,000 hectares of bush and conservation land with a known systemic eco-toxin would do far more harm than good, and highlighted the National Government’s failure to both understand the issues surrounding introduced animals, and find workable solutions to them.

“Pouring poison on the bush in order to control pests is a bit like the American bombing of Ben Tre during the Vietnam War to keep it from falling to the Viet Cong, when they claimed they had to destroy the village in order to save it,” he said.

“We know we have to protect our native species, and we know we have to eliminate TB from our cattle herds, but 1080 kills everything, indiscriminately and inhumanely.

“1080 was developed as an insecticide, and it doesn’t just kill native birds directly, it also kills the insects they feed on, meaning that the secondary kill is even bigger than the initial death toll. In the case of stoats it’s only secondary poisoning which has an effect, because the stoats don’t eat the baits directly, they die from eating other things that have been poisoned.

“New Zealand First remains totally opposed to the use of aerial 1080 and would instead move to ground-based methods, such as bait stations and trapping, to control predators and TB vectors.

“We maintain that larger animals are best managed through sustainable hunting, and anyone who has ever worn Merino Possum will know that possum fur is a valuable resource if it is harvested properly.

“This Government is blindly and unthinkingly applying the “There Is No Alternative” rule to 1080 even though it is banned in most of the rest of the world. The truth is that aerial 1080 is devastating the bush, it’s unsustainable, and we need to find alternatives – and fast,” said Mr Prosser.


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