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Action needed to achieve 1080 re-assessment

Action needed to achieve 1080 re-assessment

Forest and Bird is disappointed that re-registration of 1080 will not happen this year and urges the government to enact changes to HAZNO legislation that will enable better controls to be put on the use of 1080.

The Animal Health Board and the Department of Conservation today announced that re-registration has been delayed until next year because legislation needs to be changed to allow adequate controls to be maintained on 1080 use.

“An opportunity to lift public confidence in the use of 1080 this year has been lost. This is a critical tool for the protection of New Zealand’s forests and wildlife. As a consequence, the poor public image of 1080 is putting protection of native forests at risk. Pests are just as dangerous as chainsaws,” said Forest and Bird Biosecurity Awareness Officer Geoff Keey.

“Forest and Bird supports keeping the role of the Medical Officers of Health who vet 1080 operations to ensure that they are safe. If the law needs changing to maintain the current regime of having medical officers assess 1080 operations, then it should be done soon,” he said.

“The Government should act promptly to introduce the changes to HAZNO that are needed to ensure adequate controls are put on the use of 1080 following re-assessment,” he said.

“It’s also vital that the Department of Conservation applies to the Pesticides Board to register 1080 for use against mustelids and rats. Rats and stoats are major predators of birds in native forests. DOC should apply for re-registration without delay so that they can improve their pest control operations by getting rid of stoats and rats at the same time as killing possums”, he said.

“1080 is one of the few defences conservationists have to protect nature from the ravages of introduced pests. Continued use of 1080 will be vital for the foreseeable future. The alternative may be more degradation of forests and more extinctions,” he said.

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