Note: Taranaki is soon to be re 1080’d (2019). See details below the Stuff article on that.
I am noticing in discussions around aerial 1080 drops, folk are saying they’ve not heard of any health effects happening. What you need to know however, is when it comes to testing for 1080 there are parameters around time frames for that (as you will see in the Putaruru family’s ordeal in the links below). A retired NZ Medical Doctor has been concerned enough to inform the public that Doctors are bullied into NOT testing for 1080 poisoning. So in his words last September 2018 “if you die from 1080 poisoning, nobody will know [that it was 1080] …”. You should also read our page on suspected 1080 poisonings to see the foot dragging & cover up that is exhibited by our esteemed authorities.
A former DOC ranger says he’s concerned about 1080 reaching Taranaki’s water supply following aerial drops of the toxin in Egmont National Park.
Barry Ovenden, who has helped conduct 1080 operations in the park in 2002 and 2010, said there had been a lack of public consultation about the poison reaching rivers which run off the mountain and supply the region with fresh water.
“If the drop goes perfectly then there shouldn’t be any problem, the risk is if someone say drops a bucket of it into a stream,” he said.
“By the time DOC have tested that water 24 hours later, the water is already on the way to the tap.”
Ovenden said there hasn’t been a history of negative effects – like sickness – from people drinking 1080 contaminated water in Taranaki, but cautioned the effects were still relatively unknown.
“DOC test the water supply after the first significant rainfall after the drops, but there’s no long term testing,” he said.
Unlike many stalwart anti-1080 campaigners Ovenden said 1080 was still very effective, but there were other means of controlling pests in the park.
“DOC could conduct that aerial operation on the ground,” he said.
“Sure it would be more expensive, but it wouldn’t be dangerous.
“They (DOC) are dictating to the public of Taranaki that this is the only way.”
However, DOC refutes any claims 1080 poses a danger to our water supply and the government’s environmental watchdog Landcare Research backs up the department’s claims.
According to Landcare’s protocol for sampling and testing water for 1080 there is no evidence water had been contaminated in a study of 76 samples done in 2007.
The report also states that contamination in waterways from 1080 is “highly improbable if current safety procedures are followed”.
The Ministry of Health recommends that water should not be used for drinking if 1080 is found to be above two parts per billion, whereas 70 of the 76 samples done by Landcare were below one part per billion.
DOC spokesperson Herb Christophers said the department simply wouldn’t use 1080 if it was contaminating people’s waterways.
“We base everything we do on the science that supports 1080’s use,” he said.
“There is just no evidence to say it poisons our waterways.”
As for conducting the 1080 operation on the ground, in a more targeted approach to pest control, DOC’s bio-diversity planner Bill Fleury has previously said it would cost 25 times the cost of using 1080 to control pests manually in the park.
Fleury said possums had a small territory and trappers would have to physically trap every hectare in the park to have the same effect as dropping 1080.
“The problem with doing that from the ground is that pests can move back into an area you’ve just baited and nullify any progress you’ve just made,” he said.
1080 is dropped in the the park every six years and this year’s drop is yet to commence as DOC need several fine weather days.
Following this year’s drop DOC will drop 1080 every three years, but at half the dosage.
DETAILS ON THE TARANAKI 1080 AERIAL DROP
EMAIL supplied, dated 18 Feb 2019 from New Plymouth DoC
Thank you for your email below. Information regarding Mt Taranaki can be found here – http://taranakimounga.nz/restoration/our-predators/2019-predator-control-operation/.
You’ll note in here that a time period of March-August 2019 is identified. The job is different to 2016, with Kaitake being separate as contributing to a joint project with TRC – Towards a Predator Free Taranaki project. This Kaitake project is intended to start earlier in March (hence the reference to that in the link), with the main cone being later in 2019. This Kaitake timeframe may be what you are hearing, or timings may have changed since the last communication with your friends in November 2018.
Letters are to be sent shortly to more of the community which will include more detail around each part of the job.
NOTE: For further articles on 1080 use categories at left of the news page.
If you are new to the 1080 poisoning program here is a good article to start with …
A must watch also is Poisoning Paradise, the doco made by the GrafBoys (banned from screening on NZ TV, yet a 4x international award winner). Their website is tv-wild.com. Their doco is a very comprehensive overview with the independent science to illustrate the question marks that remain over the use of this poison. There are links also on our 1080 resources page to most of the groups, pages, sites etc that will provide you with further information to make your own informed decision on this matter.
If you are pro poisoning of the environment, EnvirowatchRangitikei is not the place to espouse your opinions. Mainstream would be the place to air those. This is a venue for sharing the independent science you won’t of course find there.