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Ban 1080 Candidates announced for 2014 General Election

MEDIA RELEASE:

Angry rural communities want issue of 1080 aerial drops taken to the polls, says party co-leader Ban 1080 Candidates announced for 2014 General Election

Tuesday 19th August, 2014

The Ban 1080 political party has announced nine candidates for this year’s General Election, backed by rural New Zealanders opposed to the indiscriminate killing and chemical contamination caused by aerial 1080 poison drops.

The party was formed this year in response to the Department of Conservation’s (DoC) continual aerial distribution of the poison Sodium monofluoroacetate (1080), which rural New Zealanders attest is contaminating waterways and cruelly killing their livestock, dogs, and the native birds it is supposed to be protecting.

Party co-leader Bill Wallace says the rising anger in provincial New Zealand has reached a tipping point.

“There is huge angst about 1080 poison in rural areas amongst farmers and other Kiwis who use public land for their recreation,” Wallace says. “Aerial 1080 application is a scatter gun approach that is not working. 1080 does not choose which animals it harms; as well as pests, 1080 kills native birds like robins, tits, ruru (morepork), kea and livestock, all of which eat the poison.

“There are also deadly secondary effects as it travels down the food chain - pets and working dogs die from eating poisoned animals,” he says. “Aerial drops are banned in other countries for a very good reason.

“DoC is making out that the opposition to 1080 is at the margins. This is absolutely not true. In fact two polls over the last 10 years have shown 43% of those asked were opposed to 1080, but DoC has not listened to why there is such a lot of opposition.

“The rural community is fed up because the many petitions and letters to Parliament and DoC over the years from various groups have reached deaf ears time and time again,” he says. “With the country about to be bombarded with the largest 1080 poison drop in its history, the creation of a political party to take this issue to the polls has become an urgent matter.

“Within a very short time the Ban 1080 party has attracted well over 1300 members and nine passionate and knowledgeable candidates from around the country, who if elected, would work with the elected Government to ensure the right decisions for New Zealand’s conservation were made.

“The protection and growth of our native bird population is very important to the Ban 1080 party, but 1080 is not the answer,” he says. “Our party’s policy is to develop a pathway to a solution that includes the following elements:

1. To immediately stop DoC’s indiscriminate aerial 1080 poison programme.

2. To develop a science-based, measurable programme that includes: - Species specific protection plans, - Targeted pest control, using people not poison, - Community conservation involvement.

3. To protect all waterways by ensuring no future aerial poison drops.

The Ban 1080 Party candidate list (ranked) is as follows:

1. Mike Downard. Co-leader. Candidate for Coromandel electorate.

2. Bill Wallace. Co-leader. List MP.

3. Peter Salter. Candidate for West Coast - Tasman electorate.

4. James Veint. Candidate for Clutha - Southland electorate.

5. Glen Tomlinson. Candidate for Kaikoura electorate.

6. Patricia Cheel. Candidate for East Coast Bays electorate.

7. Mike McClunie. List MP.

8. Andy Blick. List MP.

9. John Burrill. List MP.

------

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

About 1080
Sodium monofluoroacetate (1080) is a metabolic poison that is extremely toxic to all air breathing organisms. There is no known antidote. 1080 blocks the ability of muscles and organs to absorb energy from its food, and results in a slow inhumane death - over many hours for birds, and up to four days for large mammals.

Use in New Zealand
NZ is the world’s largest consumer of 1080, while it is banned or restricted in most countries.

DoC’s Battle for the Birds plans to spread 1080 poison over a million hectares of New Zealand’s wilderness this year.

The aerial drop is in response to a possible heavy beech seeding in South Island forests, which DoC claims will lead to an increase in predation on native birds. However, DoC’s 2014 beech seed map shows only light-to-moderate beech seeding at most inland sites.

Native bird species test positive for 1080 -DoC ignores concerns
Nineteen native bird species have had corpses test positive for 1080 after aerial operations; 11 of those have not had the poisoning risk quantified. All the science studies on bird mortality refer to the small sample size, the lack of unpoisoned control areas, the need for long term monitoring, and urge caution before exposing endangered birds to 1080 poison. These concerns are ignored in DoC summaries.

Vast areas of the planned 1080 drop have never been assessed for what bird species and populations are present, some of these previously un-poisoned areas have anecdotal accounts of significant bird populations.

Predators can increase after 1080 drops
Ship rat numbers can increase up to four-fold after 1080 operations and remain high for up to six years. Poorly timed 1080 operations can increase stoat predation on birds.

For more information go to https://www.ban1080.co.nz, or https://www.facebook.com/ban1080party

ENDS

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