When it’s not being sprayed round the Palmerston North Landfill, that is. What happens if the ship sinks?!
George Robinson has worked in the pest control industry all his life. When he left the Manawatu/Wanganui (Horizons) Regional Council he had a gagging order put on him, but the time period is now up.
This is the story he told me, and I first posted it in January, 2017 :
They used to use (up to 2008-2009 that he knows of) 20% 1080 stock solution and dilute it to a field solution to put it on the green-dyed carrots, for rabbits. He said they had back packs and had it running down their arms, legs, backs….. They used to find dead birds everywhere, blackbirds especially. They were told it all dissolved in water and broke down.
They were sent to conferences run by NZ Pest Management Officers’ Institute. George says “I believe it was the Food Safety Authority that policed the regulations then”. He remembers one where Charles Eason (now CEO of the Cawthron Institute, but formerly senior manager with Landcare Research and a Professor at Lincoln University) spoke and told them “three pisses and the 1080 is gone from your system”.
They had a big holding tank and the stock solution could be held for up to 7 or 8 years before it was no good, but a man from a waste removal transport company would come along and pump out the holding tank. He would take it down to the Palmerston North landfill and spread it all over the ground, driving round in a circle. George says this guy was a straight-up sort of chap who was amazed that he was given permission to do it.
There was a facility in France where some of the stuff collected went – old farm chemicals such as DDT, etc. It goes on a ship which “must be a very toxic shipload”, George said. (I have been told recently that that facility in France is no longer used… I’m not sure where it goes now – Note 29 July, 2018).
He said that at present, Horizons are using Brodificoum on pastureland amongst stock, for possum control. He said it has killed stock but that the worst thing is that it accumulates in the liver and remains in the sheeps’ livers for 36 months. He said Horizons are using the High Strength version.
He himself has a CSL (Controlled Substance Licence).
He says Horizons must be one of the biggest users of Brodificoum. He rang Affco to see if they tested and they said they did random testing, and the Ministry of Primary Industries also assured him they did random testing. He said to them ” Why don’t you test the stock from the paddocks where you use Brodificoum?” but they didn’t want to know!
He said the Ministry of Health used to police the regulations but now that duty has gone to the Ministry of Primary Industries.
He said Horizons have a whole lot of operations, all doing the same thing – killing rats and possums. He said they will be killing birds as well and that the sheep and other livestock “hoover it up”. He said the bait stations are 1.8 metres off the ground, but the deer and cattle can reach them, and the possums are messy eaters and get it all over the ground, so the sheep can get it too.
George left Horizons because he was arguing with them about their 10 year plan for Brodifacoum pest control, and says he was forced out because he was against it.
He said the Greater Wellington Council is using Brodifacoum too. They used it on Tawaiti Station (a safari hunting operation on the East Coast). It killed a few deer and as they were going to sell some, they thought they had better test them for Brodifacoum. They found so much Brodifacoum in them that they shot around 70 deer and burnt the carcasses!
Note the photo is not George Robinson.