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Misrepresented details re 1080

Misrepresented details re 1080

All pest control operations using 1080 are carefully planned and rigorously monitored - and often end up boosting native bird life, says Environment Bay of Plenty councillor Jim Pringle.

Mr Pringle is speaking up about opposition to the use of aerial 1080 drops in a major possum control operation planned for the southern parts of Whirinaki Forest and Te Urewera National Park this winter. The operation is being launched by several agencies, including Environment Bay of Plenty, in a bid to stamp out Bovine Tb, which is spread by possums.

Bovine Tb is an animal disease with the potential to affect New Zealand’s overseas meat (beef and deer) trade.

Mr Pringle says “emotive and misleading” attacks on the use of 1080 for Bovine Tb work are unhelpful and potentially damaging to New Zealand.

“New Zealand is rapidly progressing towards becoming Bovine Tb free, so it is sad to see these attacks on 1080 use when it is the only sensible tool we have for controlling possums in terrain where effective control cannot be achieved by other methods. We don’t have any other realistic option.”

In New Zealand, aerial 1080 is used primarily in large, remote areas where ground control would be impractical. All pest control operations are carefully planned and rigorously monitored. Major waterways are avoided, though the pesticide does biodegrade quickly in water, Mr Pringle explains.

Some countries have banned 1080 because it puts native land mammals at risk. “But in New Zealand, we don’t have native land mammals, apart from bats – and these are not threatened by 1080. In fact, 1080 has huge conversation benefits for us because it kills the possums that destroy our native birds.”

Mr Pringle is a third term regional councillor and an appointee to the Regional Animal Health Committee, which is involved with Bovine Tb management in the Bay of Plenty. He says he was also once opposed to the use of 1080. “But I now understand that is it a necessary part of our fight against Bovine Tb. Over the years, I’ve seen other councillors change their minds about it when they learned the true facts of the matter.”

A Belgian scientist developed 1080 in 1896.


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