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1080 Conservation Benefits Proven

1 February 2002

1080 Conservation Benefits Proven

The Department of Conservation stands by the proven conservation benefits of using 1080 to control pests that otherwise decimate native species and ruin forests.

External Relations General Manager Joris de Bres said the latest allegations of UK filmmaker Terry Brownbill were unfounded.

“Mr Brownbill talks about public lies made by government officials, secret sources confirming rumours, and alleged corruption. He has not come up with any evidence to back these claims and without these specifics it is difficult to refute his statements.

“What we can say is that the Department of Conservation is committed to preserving native species and the health of our forests. The reasons we use 1080 to help achieve this are simple - it is cost effective, efficient and the best available pest control tool in a range of circumstances and terrain.

“We do acknowledge that some members of the community have concerns. We commission research on an ongoing basis to ensure our application methods are adequate, and we also continue to search for better pest control alternatives.

“While Mr Brownbill has not provided evidence of his claims, the Department of Conservation can prove the benefits of using 1080. For example, the powelliphanta land snail population near Buller on the West Coast was in serious decline. Since possum control work involving 1080 the numbers of snails have grown six-fold.

“Our West Coast office reports benefits to mistletoe, fuschsia, tui, bellbird, piegon, robin and morepork also. And these success stories are repeated elsewhere in the country.

“We were happy to be interviewed by Mr Brownbill when he was in New Zealand preparing for this documentary. We explained to him the reasons for and benefits of our various pest control methods – including 1080. We outlined the strict processes we use to ensure the safety of the public, and of the workers applying 1080. At this interview he never put to us the allegations he has made since his return to the United Kingdom,” Mr de Bres said.


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