Back in 1994 Dr Meriel Watts wrote in her book The Poisoning of New Zealand*, of constant phone calls to the Soil & Health Assn by folk asking … “Is 1080 safe & do I have to let them drop it on my property?” The Association’s view at the time she said was ‘no’ and ‘no’. Soil & Health’s submission to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s Possum Management review stated that “the current practice of distributing by air large amounts of 1080-laced carrot and pollard baits over large areas has lead to unacceptable risks to the environment, human health, dogs, farm stock, birds and other members of the ecosystem.” (p 186, 187).
That submission cited various incidents experienced by farmers.
“In one case a South Island farm lost 570 ewes when 1080 was dropped in his pastures as a result of the helicopter swinging too wide when dropping over bush patches. His sheep were still dying up to six months later; there were also a large number of abortions.” (Dr M Watts, p 187)
“In another case … a central North Island farmer came home to find 1080 spread all over her farm and around her house. There was a nice sign stating this fact, but no prior notification and no prior permission given. Fortunately her dogs were locked up.” (Dr M Watts, p 187)
We seldom of course hear of these incidents as they are not normally featured by mainstream media. It has been highlighted via the GrafBoys’ information that these stats are actually hidden in the paper work. Farmers, when claiming compensation, are required to list that compensation as for purposes other than poisoned stock losses.
Please read the comments below as a farmer has shared about the loss of his dogs to likely 1080 poisoning.
Photo: Pixabay.com (note, not the actual farm or farmer in the article).
*The Poisoning of New Zealand by Dr Meriel Watts, Ak Institute of Technology Press, 1994