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1080: Poisoned Kea Deaths

Poisoned Kea Deaths

The Kiwi Party
Press Release
13 September, 2011

"The death of keas in Westland's Okarito due to 1080 poison is a loud alarm call for a cessation of the use of 1080, and an explanation and apology from the Minister of Conservation Kate Wilkinson is called for", says Larry Baldock leader of the Kiwi Party.

"Surely the Minister should now be demanding answers from the Department of Conservation following on the news of the death of 7 radio-tracked keas after a recent 1080 aerial drop", continued Baldock.

"Although a supposed kea repellent was used, any person should realise keas are highly inquisitive parrots which, repellent or no repellent, are almost certain to investigate any poison bait.

"Questions surround the whole use of 1080. What was the purpose of the aerial toxin drop? If it was aimed at the possum, is there actually a possum problem? Reports from the West Coast indicate low numbers, verified by an almost complete lack of road kills. If it's bovine TB, that is the Animal Health Board's responsibility not DOC's. In any case the TB issue also demands scrutiny since the TB skin test used on cattle has a 20 percent error rate which in essence means one in 10 cattle with TB is not detected by the test.

"A solution to the possum problem is to see them as a resource which could be used to harvest fur and meat for a potential $300 million export return. In doing so, possum numbers would be managed and kept low.

"What does the Minister think or is she mute with embarrassment and shame?", concluded Baldock.

Ends

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