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1080 - an essential tool in pest management

December 7, 2006

1080 - an essential tool in pest management, says ECan

Environment Canterbury is supporting the Animal Health Board and the Department of Conservation’s application to the Environmental Risk Management Authority for the reassessment of the pesticide 1080. DOC and the AHB are seeking to continue the current approval for 1080 and substances containing 1080 and have applied for re-assessment as required by the Hazardous Substances and New Organism Act.

In its submission supporting DOC and the AHB’s application, Environment Canterbury says 1080 remains an essential tool in the exercise of its pest control and biodiversity functions and responsibilities. It says 1080 is the most cost effective poison for
large-scale pest control. As the only vertebrate toxin able to be applied from air, it is essential for controlling rabbits, possums, wallabies and mustelids (weasels, stoats and ferrets) over rugged and isolated terrain. It also degrades completely and does not bio-accumulate in food chains.

With rabbit populations becoming immune to RCV (rabbit calicivirus), the only effective response for large-scale control will be the use of 1080. “With immune levels increasing, effective control of rabbits over large areas of rabbit prone land would be almost impossible without the use of 1080, leading potentially to land degradation as has happened in previous decades,” says the chairman of Environment Canterbury’s pest portfolio, Cr Robert Johnston.

Environment Canterbury says stopping the use of 1080 would be a huge barrier for New Zealand achieving its economic and environmental outcomes. It’s also one of the most effective ways to fight possums, which are not only a threat to New Zealand biodiversity but also the carrier of Bovine tuberculosis, which has significant implications for New Zealand’s agriculture and primary produce sectors, Cr Johnston said.

1080 is also used for wallaby control. I the use of 1080 is restricted, the ability to confine wallabies to the South Canterbury area will be severely compromised, ECan pest management staff say.

Cr Johnson says the use of 1080 for rat control is crucial for the survival of some indigenous bird life, particularly the kiwi, kokako, kereru, kaka and kakariki as well as bellbirds and fantails.

ENDS

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