A pest worker who worked for a New Zealand local council Environment Waikato for two years, has damned 1080 poison as cruel and destructive of bird life.
Graeme Merekara Shelford, now resident in Australia, said he had a mixture of sadness and anger over the inhumane nature of the poison and that contrary to the claims of government departments and councils using the toxin, it was killing the vast numbers of bird life.
“Numerous times I was told 1080 doesn’t kill anything but possums. I was just ignorant of the damage because of what I was told, but I learned firsthand that is just not true,” he said.
The poison is used by government agencies and local councils to kill predators supposedly annihilating native birds but was killing birds themselves and insects, food for insectivorous birds such as robins and fantails.
Graeme Shelford was involved in trapping, using 1080 and also aerial drops of the poison, which often involved visiting farmers’ properties to talk to landowners before using 1080. His boss was frequently involved in arguments with farmers.
“The farmers looked at us as if we were taking their farms. They didn’t want the toxic stuff. Many of them knew how nasty 1080 is.”
For further info on 1080 visit our 1080 pages (main menu) which include a complete list of resources and links. For other 1080 articles use ‘categories’ at the top left of the news page. If you’re new to the issue a must watch is Poisoning Paradise (links at our pages) a four times international award winning doco by NZ’s GrafBoys that is banned from screening in NZ. Visit their own website called tv-wild.com. They also have a channel on Youtube by the same name or search ‘GrafBoys’.