Tag Archives: possums

The research of a US biophysicist indicates aerial poisoning has “twice as many costs to native species as benefits” & is “twice as costly to native species as unmanaged possum populations”

Nearly 70% of DoC’s studies justifying aerial 1080 operations were conducted by employees of either AHB [Animal Health Board] or DOC [Dept of Conservation] with only three being published internationally (Robinson, pp 34, 35). 

Reihana Robinson in her book titled ‘The Killing Nation, NZ’s State-Sponsored Addiction to Poison 1080’ cites the research of US biophysicist Dr Alexis Mari Pietak of Tufts University, Massachusetts.  

Dr Pietak ‘conducted a comprehensive literature search for “peer-reviewed scientific investigations into the effects of aerial poison operations on non target fauna” and compared “the costs and benefits to native species poison operations versus unchecked possum populations at their peak density”.’

Quoting from Robinson’s book (emphases mine):

“Her research indicated aerial poisoning has “twice as many costs to native species as benefits, and that aerial poison operations were twice as costly to native species as unmanaged possum populations at their peak density.” this potential for widespread poisoning of insectivorous, omnivorous and carnivorous endemic and endangered or threatened bird species she believes is “a serious issue worthy of international and immediate action,” Namely, to immediately halt aerial poison operations.

   Dr Pietak notes the few bird species that have actually been the subject of “proper radio-transmitter, colour banding, and mark-recapture analysis before and after poison operations’ are the nectar, fruit and foliage eating birds such as hihi, kereru, kōkako and kaka and are indeed most likely to benefit from possum removal. Missing from thorough research are those birds identified as being high risk of primary or secondary poisoning. They number 24 indigenous bird species. She references work by Armstrong 2001 that “notes that data derived from bird or call counts cannot be analysed to separate changes in abundance from changes in detection, due to the fact that bird behaviour is affected by the presence of a human observer. Detection rates can vary depending on the weather, human observer, and unknown bird behavioural patterns.” She states the “science seems to have been selectively interpreted, ignored, and moreover left grossly incomplete in its scope, presumably in the name of non-environmental economical interests” “

Like a growing number of researchers Dr Pietak notes the potential for bias given the large number of studies funded by AHB [Animal Health Board] or DOC [Dept of Conservation]. Of the 28 studies retrieved she finds 19 of 28, (nearly 70%), were conducted by employees of either AHB or DOC with only three being published internationally”. (Robinson, pp 34, 35)*. 

* Pietak, Alexis Mari A Critical Look at Aerial-Dropped, Poison-Laced Food in New Zealand’s forest Ecosystems 2010 Creative Commons

 


NOTE: For further articles on 1080 use categories at left of the news page.

If you are new to the 1080 poisoning program, a must watch 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.

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Post 1080-drop water monitoring: a former Greens MP says there is gross misrepresentation around the official figures presented by DoC

Former Greens MP Steffan Browning, interviewed recently by Raglan Community Radio, discusses his preference for exploring alternative methods in culling pests. He also believes the information supplied to Eugenie Sage regarding the frequency of finding 1080 in water samples is at odds with independent testing. Official figures say 1080 is detected only 3% of the time however, from the calculations of an independent scientist that incidence is closer to 60%. The 3% figure supplied to OSPRI, Forest & Bird and so on, is in Browning’s opinion inaccurate & a gross misrepresentation. To go straight to the water sampling discussion go to 12 minutes.

And by the way, in addition to saying there are other Green MPs who are pro alternatives to 1080, he mentions former Green Party Co-Leader Rod Donald’s preference for the trapping alternative, illustrated by the Possum covering he had for his Parliamentary seat. What a shame their current Party stance is not so green on this topic.

https://archive.org/details/SteffanBrowning1080181003?fbclid=IwAR2CAV2-1WmoaqxydUpkde2DnF2_yMABMt4rnYBANpfm8Hgt46GhQNaplBI#reviews

 

Below is an excerpt from 1080’s product information warning about dropping baits in water, however the government has changed the rules so that they can drop it into waterways without a resource consent. The point of this news item is the way tests are carried out to determine poison levels, however, it is also pertinent to remember the manufacturer’s warning regarding water sources & 1080 risks:

Copy of Untitled

 

 

A NZ Landcare scientist estimates the likely death toll from an Otago 1080 drop in 2002 to be around 10,000 birds

More evidence on the apparent wanton decimation of NZ’s bird population by the deadly class 1A ecotoxin 1080, banned in most countries, with no antidote, dispensed by helicopters into the bush like a ‘veritable lollie scramble’ as I recently read it described by a person who for a long time worked with both 1080 poison & with DoC. 

The late Bill Benfield* in his book, The Third Wave, Poisoning the Land, describes dead birds that were picked up by searchers in 2002 at the Waianakarua Scenic Reserve in North Otago (a 4043 hectare block). (p 71)

Each bird had been grid referenced on a map and at a pest management strategy meeting in Christchurch (May 2009) a Landcare scientist was able to estimate the likely death toll… an astonishing 10,000 birds. Benfield describes the potential possum population in the reserve as being around 7-8,000 in which case he concludes, the pest management people (DoC & AHB) are poisoning more birds than there are possums.

We know of course that 1080 can’t target just non-native birds. So the photos supplied by people of post-drop death counts invariably include examples of both.

paws for a cause 2.jpg
A native Kotare (Kingfisher) found also after a 1080 drop, supplied by Paws for a Cause
kahurangi nat park jim hilton
Another image of a birds following a 1080 drop in Kahurangi National Park .. note the native Kereru and Kotare (supplied by Jim Hilton)


NOTE: the header image is not of the birds in question, these are from Paws 4 a Cause’s Facebook page, collected after another 1080 drop. There are many photos of dead birds collected by people directly after the drops. Regarding this article, there is an actual image supplied by Bill Benfield in his book (p71) however I do not at this stage have permission to use it. Please don’t bother asking for proof these ones died of 1080 poisoning. It is not rocket science as to why a collection such as these died when they were collected directly after a 1080 drop.  And besides, the Landcare scientist and the folk at the said pest management strategy meeting in Christchurch, all took it as given that the estimated 10,000 birds died of 1080 POISONING, not other causes. No mention of any other possibilities for death with neither any mention of testing the said birds. Now that these items of information are coming to the fore thanks to investigative writers like Benfield, and to the dedication of the many thousands who recently & historically protested, the said authorities are racing hither and yon suddenly getting the birds tested to ‘prove’ that the folk who simply want clean water & food are getting unnecessarily hysterical.

However, remember the 89 dead kiwi that DoC didn’t bother to test for possible 1080 poisoning? I rest my case. Clearly the authorities can no longer rest on their laurels and assume that the trusting NZ public are asleep like they used to be. 


* About the late William (Bill) Benfield:

William Benfield was an environmentalist author who wrote three books. The first two dealt with the widespread use of 1080 poison in New Zealand. The first is titled At War with Nature-Corporate Conservation & the Industry of Extinction, (find on Amazon) the second, cited in the article above, is “The Third Wave: Poisoning the Land”. His third book is called Water: Quality and Ownership.
Read Amazon’s commentary on At War with Nature: Corporate Conservation and the Extinction Industry:

“This is a book about how the destruction of one of the world’s most unique, ancient and unspoiled wilderness areas has led to the growth of an international industry eradicating animals and plants which have been deemed to be “invasive”. That is because they are where pseudo-scientists say they should not be. What New Zealand began as an industrialised extermination has now become island eradications in many parts of the world. To expand and grow, it must either seek more islands, or widen its scope to cover whole nations; that is what it is now doing.
The parasitic riders who drive this conservation gravy train are:-
•Government conservation agencies who seek to increase their bureaucratic power and influence,
•The agri-chemical industry who supply the chemicals and poisons.
•The powerful and wealthy conservation charities who whip up the concept of “threats to nature” as a way generating donations, bequests and corporate sponsorships.
•The academic and science institutions who see in it a rich seam of grant money for supplying junk science in support of the eradication industry.
Eradications are carried out on a scale reminiscent of the US military aerial deforestation of Vietnam with “agent orange”. Here, for all wildlife, the animals, birds and insects, the poisons used are super-toxins such as brodifacoum and 1080. For vegetation, they have devised new wonder chemical cocktails such as “Armageddon”. It is total ecosystem genocide.
To whip up a public fervour to help justify such mass environmental poisoning, the people are fed the concepts of invasive pests and threats. Thus, harmless creatures are demonised and need be shown no mercy. By deliberate and devious propaganda, the public are kept unaware, that in the blinkered rush of zeal to kill “pests” and “predators”, the eradication industry is killing everything else, even the rare and endangered species such as an entire monitored population of rock wrens from an aerial 1080 poisoning at New Zealand’s Kuhurangi National Park.
It is a war against nature.”
A further article featuring Bill Benfield from Stuff:

 

 

 

Who is really driving Pest Free NZ (PFNZ) – what you aren’t being told

An excellent article here that throws much needed light on the 1080 poison issue. So here it is in plain sight. Agenda 21, kicked off at the Earth Summit in 1992. If the prevention of biodiversity loss caused by alien species was so above board why are they not selling it to the general public in its original terms? And as I keep repeating, if this UN document were truly about their so called sustainable practices we should by now be seeing some results. Instead we see unprecedented pollution, environmental destruction, poverty, inequality, homelessness & debt. And aside from all of that, what is sustainable about poisoning the entire environment? What is sustainable about poison, period? Oh, that’s right, certain corporate profits.


By J James at infonews.co.nz

What is driving the Pest Free NZ Agenda and the hysteria in eradicating non native species.  Answer – International agreements and a global  agenda to purge all non native species of animals and plants around the world.

Its wise to know that when you stand up to protest DOC for the tortuous deaths it is perpetrating on innocent animals,  that you are confronting not just DOC or the current minister or politician but a host of unelected bureaucrats who manage all the various global agreements NZ has signed up to.  These bureaucrats ensure that things run smoothly. The minister and the politicians are an interface between us and them.  John Key called these global organisations the clubs 

There is much more to this story that you can research yourself but the core thing here is that NZ is part of a much bigger extremist idea under the guise of protecting biodiversity – or purism as I call it –  where everything and anything non native and not productive to  human use will be destroyed.

While you browse through these sites you will read a language that appears benign and even needed, yet the practical application and act of killing so many innocent species unlucky to find themselves in another country is horrendous to contemplate and makes me wonder about the sanity of this human race.

Nature abhors a vacuum and will do anything to balance her eco system and can usually do it – its called adaption its called evolution.  When ‘man’ decides to play god then unintended consequences abound and we are all put at risk.  That we now stand at the edge of this psychopathic agenda of death, we must pause for a moment and consider how industry with the approval of governments have deforested the planet to feed its voracious appetite for money for economic growth at all costs .  There has been a huge cost – industry enabled by  governments have destroyed so much of the world’s natural habitat that species extinction has become so obvious.  The shock of this has forced the agenda of biodiversity loss using eradication of non native species as a means to address it.

Here in NZ it is seen most noticeably in the dropping of poison out of helicopters into pristine ecosystems, rendering them silent.
When New Zealand announced its Predator Free NZ vision it wasn’t as if suddenly someone in the Department of Conservation woke up with a great idea – it was a directive NZ had to follow as part of being a member of the United Nations.  They never mention this.

There is a global agenda to rid every nation in the world of any and all non native species – animals and plants – non productive species that is – cows and sheep bulls and horses and domestic pigs will stay because they are part of industry and form the back bone of many economies.  But the rest that are not needed will be eradicated.

This is the global agenda and it’s time we knew where this kill kill mentality actually came from.

New Zealand is a member of the IUCN which stands for International Union for Conservation of  Nature – on the international stage NZ is part of the Oceania group  run by the Department of Conservation. Its government agencies are:

The IUCN was founded in 1948. Taken from their website it says this:

”….located near Geneva, Switzerland. The Union brings together 86 states, 120 government agencies, 825 national and 92 international non-governmental organisations, 34 affiliate organisations and through its Commissions about 11,000 experts and scientists from more than 160 countries around the world…”

IUCN’s mission is to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable. The Union has three components: its member organisations, its six scientific commissions, and its professional secretariat.

IUCN is the only environmental organisation to have official observer status at the United Nations General Assembly.

NGOs connected to this in NZ are:

They all aim for ecological integrity (purity, my word).

All over the world the word has gone out that all creatures great and small that are not indigenous to that land will be terminated.  It’s not just New Zealand

IUCN GUIDELINES FOR THE PREVENTION OF BIODIVERSITY LOSS CAUSED BY ALIEN INVASIVE SPECIES 

”….. Biological diversity faces many threats throughout the world. One of the major threats to native biological diversity is now acknowledged by scientists and governments to be biological invasions caused by alien invasive species.  The impacts of alien invasive species are immense, insidious, and usually irreversible. They may be as damaging  to native species and ecosystems on a global scale as the loss and degradation of habitats…”

its goals and objectives are …. sound familiar?

”……to prevent further losses of biological diversity due to the deleterious effects of alien invasive species. The intention is to assist governments and management agencies to give effect to Article 8 (h) of the Convention on Biological Diversity, which states that: “Each Contracting Party shall, as far as possible and as appropriate: …(h) Prevent the introduction of, control or eradicate those alien species which threaten ecosystems, habitats or species….”

Then there is the CBD which is Convention on Biodiversity and is a legally binding multilateral treaty from the UN of which NZ is a member.  It has three main goals:

“…The conservation of biological diversity (or biodiversity); the sustainable use of its components; and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources.

In other words, its objective is to develop national strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. It is often seen as the key document regarding sustainable development. The Convention was opened for signatures at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro on 5 June 1992 and entered into force on 29 December 1993. At the 2010 10th Conference of Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in October in Nagoya, Japan, the Nagoya Protocol was adopted…”

or said another way

Protecting Biodiversity.

“….The current decline in biodiversity is largely the result of human activity and represents a serious threat to human development. Despite mounting efforts over the past 20 years, the loss of the world’s biological diversity, mainly from habitat destruction, over-harvesting, pollution and the inappropriate introduction of foreign plants and animals, has continued. Biological resources constitute a capital asset with great potential for yielding sustainable benefits.

Urgent and decisive action is needed to conserve and maintain genes, species and ecosystems, with a view to the sustainable management and use of biological resources…”

Another part of this is the Invasive Species Specialty group 

Their mission statement says:
“….The Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) aims to reduce threats to natural ecosystems and the native species they contain by increasing awareness of invasive alien species, and of ways to prevent, control or eradicate them….”

When you hear the DoC and the minister for the Environment talk of eradicating species this is what they are talking about .  This is what they are instructed to do as a member state of the UN.

Here in NZ we are watching the eradication of  wild game – food that many rely on to feed their families –  hunting is as kiwi as rugby – but a wild food industry is being slowly eradicated under the guise of PFNZ .

NZ has no wild mammals as such,  all wild game including trout existing here now is non native and earmarked for eradication, despite them being brought in over 100 years ago.  The various NZ bodies of these organisations do not come out directly and say this of course,  instead they are doing it by stealth, and the best tool in the box for this eradication appears to be the deadly Sodium fluoroacetate commonly referred to as 1080.

SOURCE

https://www.infonews.co.nz/news.cfm?l=1&t=0&id=117063

Hear the birdsong in the Ureweras, they’ve hosted rats, stoats, possums & deer for over 100 years & no 1080 drops (the GrafBoys)

Published on Oct 5, 2014

The Department of Conservation says it needs to use 1080 poison to kill rats and stop rat plagues. Rats have been present in New Zealand forests for over 700 years. This clip looks at various areas where 1080 poison has never been used, and one example of where it has. This is an observation only, but does raise some questions about areas where 1080 is used …
For further info visit tv-wild.com
Also our 1080 pages at the main menu

Predator free 2050 – creating a generation who ‘find killing animals weirdly addictive’

The new move by Predator Free 2050 to eradicate cats. A new insidiously inhumane killer poison on a par with 1080 in terms of cruelty is already being trialed in the Hawke’s Bay.

Thanks to The Truth About 1080 Poison Facebook page for the link to this article from Bob Kerridge. Bob has had a long and distinguished professional career in animal welfare, during which time he has been responsible for many creative and innovative initiatives that have enhanced the status and welfare of animals in the New Zealand community. You can read more about him at the end of the article.

As requested by Bob I’m adding an image he supplied.

PHOTO KITTEN & QUOTE.jpg

COMPANION ANIMALS IN AOTEAROA
OPINION – Bob Kerridge, Animal Welfarist.

The average peace-loving New Zealander may not be aware of it but, apparently, we are at war. If you find this difficult to comprehend, and a little frightening, for verification you need go no further than listen to the war-like rhetoric emanating from the people at Predator Free-2050.

This new, but generously funded, movement has a clear mission: To be rid of all predators, (whatever or whoever they may be), by the year 2050, with its website calling us to arms urging us to ‘unite to fight’. The dialogue from command headquarters tells us that the ‘threat of invasion is here’ but that “we have an army of tens of thousands of New Zealanders’ to undertake ‘a military campaign to push the invaders back, just as we did in the last two world wars’.
This disturbing talk exemplifies a dangerous path down which we are being led which could result in an ecological disaster because of this new-found obsession to become predator free. In a recently published paper two eminent ecologists, Professor Wayne Linklater and Dr Jamie Steer, are critical of the methodology being employed: ‘While Predator Free-2050 is well intentioned’, they concluded, ‘New Zealand’s future conservation policies need to be less bombastic, and better informed by the environmental, ecological and social sciences’. In a separate interview Linklater went further when he stated that New Zealanders would regard being ‘cruelty free’ a far greater goal than ‘predator free’, an aspiration with which I totally concur.

Not surprisingly the troops being deployed to free us of all these predators is the Department of Conservation, (DoC), who of course are willing and able to do the job. In my naivety I used to believe that conservation meant preserving our special and unique biodiversity, until I heard the previous Minister, Maggie Barry, proudly proclaiming for all to hear that ‘my guys at Doc are incredibly good at killing things’. Given there are many dedicated individuals employed by DoC who labour long and hard to preserve the lives of many of our endangered species, and more power to them, this was a foolish and heartless statement to make. It is little wonder that a number of previously employed high-ranking scientists are describing the current atmosphere at DoC as ‘toxic’ with a ‘culture of war and a lot of discontent’.

Dr Arian Wallach of the University of Technology, Sydney, and Fellow of the Charles Darwin University, described the essence of conservation succinctly when she stated: ‘The aim of conservation is not to generate an ever increasing (dead) body count, but to guide human behaviours to enable the rest of the earth’s species to flourish’.

The major weapon in DoC’s vast armoury, and akin to the H-bomb, is sodium fluoroacetate, (1080), a cheap and particularly nasty pesticide which is as indiscriminate in whom it targets as it is efficient in killing them. Registered as the most toxic pesticide by the World Health Organisation it was the only chemical weapon reportedly found in Saddam Hussein’s arsenal. 1080 is outlawed in a large number of countries, but to our absolute shame New Zealand has been using it since it was first trialled here in 1954. Despite growing public abhorrence, we are now purchasing 80% of the total supply, making us by far the largest user in the world.

The evils of 1080 are well documented including its permanent effect on our flora and fauna, destroying micro-organisms and insects, (the diet of many birds), the contamination of our waterways, human health risks, the slow and agonising death of untargeted animals, (both large and small), and also, ironically, many of the native birds it’s meant to be protecting. And yet, despite this history I am told that last year 350 million poison baits were dropped on our little country, thus perpetuating what can only be described as a national disgrace.

So just who are these invaders that, as Predator Free-2050 advocates, need this military effort to defeat ‘because it is a very insidious war they have waged’ against us’? The irony is that these so-called invading species have no ability or desire to declare war, or any concept of what is being plotted against them, or why, neither have they the ability to protect themselves or fight back. In fact it’s a bit of a one-sided war, rather more a premeditated annihilation I would suggest.
In reality the selection of predators that need to be killed is at the behest of the greatest predator of them all, humans, either because we just don’t like them, or they are introduced species and not native to our shores, or we have the mistaken belief that if we exterminate them our ecology will be rescued from certain peril. In general the reasons are unscientific and immoral, as are the weapons used against them.

Unbelievably the latest animal to be selected as a targeted predator will astound and horrify most people, but will delight rats, and Gareth Morgan. In an incredulous move the current Minister of Conservation, Eugene Sage, wants to see Kiwi wandering the urban gardens of Wellington, which would not exactly be their choice of where they would wish to reside given the human dangers associated with urban living and their lack of natural bush protection to which they are accustomed. The Minister noted that to achieve this urban dream cats would have to go, parroting the demands of the insidious ‘cats to go’ campaign, requiring ‘having cats inside, and when your cat dies then not replacing it’. So it’s cats or kiwis.

Local and Regional Councils throughout New Zealand, who have never before shown any interest in cats, are now wanting to illegally label them as ‘pest cats’ so they can be destroyed without question, again acceding to Morgan’s dictate that ‘any cat that is free to range should be a dead cat’.

That constitutes another declaration of war, and of course weapons of mass destruction exist, especially for cats. This one comes in the form of the unpronounceable para-aminopropiophenone, or PAPP as it is generally known, currently and unashamedly being trialled by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council. PAPP is as hideous as 1080 coming in the form of a paste which, once ingested, starts a process of dying which is inhumane and painfully slow, with death averaging an horrendous 3 hours and 51 seconds to occur. During the process signs of toxicosis occur, (head nodding, lethargy, uncontrolled movement and lack of balance), eventually advancing to unresponsiveness and collapse but fully conscious and aware, with final unconsciousness occurring only moments before death.

The persecution of cats, the country’s most popular and adored companion animal, is as unfathomable as it is without foundation. Ecologist Gary J Patonec, (USA), commented: ‘What I find inconsistent in an otherwise scientific debate about biodiversity is how the indictment of cats has been pursued in spite of the evidence’.

I have to question, just what is the motivation that drives people to hate so vehemently that they are quite content in subjecting cats and other sentient beings to such extremes of torture before killing them? But remember we are, apparently, at war and the conservation soldiers are doing it to make the world a better place being totally oblivious to the probable ecological consequences of their extermination practices. The slaughter of one species on the pretext of saving another for the greater good in the name of conservation is reprehensible.
Predator Free-2050 claims to have an ‘army of tens of thousands of New Zealanders’, many of them recruited from children whose schools have received money and complimentary traps if they accede to the terms and conditions of war. Others are equally innocent urban families where the aim is to have ‘a trap in every fifth backyard across New Zealand’ which is creating a generation who, and I am quoting ‘find killing animals weirdly addictive’.

Such a trend is deeply disturbing and I wonder where, in contrast, is the public outrage? Because these trends are often introduced under stealth perhaps people are not aware of where this war is leading us, what weapons of mass destruction are being used, or what the consequences will be. And where are the mechanisms in place that will protect animals from such abuse, or are there none? Are we just going to sit back and watch New Zealanders fall into moral decay?

French ornithologist Jean Dorst conveys some sobering and relevant words of wisdom: ‘Whatever the metaphysical position is adopted and whatever place is given to the human species, man has no right to destroy a species of plant of animal on the pretext that it is useless. We have no right to exterminate what we have not created’.

I have no hesitation in adding my heartfelt support to that sentiment, as my dream for our country has always been that we respect and love all life, and that humans, animals and the environment can coexist in harmony, in addition to a belief that we can, if it is our will, realise that dream. Keep believing.


Bob Kerridge can be contacted on:
Email: bob.kerridge@gmail.com

He resides in Havelock North, Hawke’s Bay
Bob Kerridge has had a long and distinguished professional career in animal welfare, during which time he has been responsible for many creative and innovative initiatives that have enhanced the status and welfare of animals in the New Zealand community.

During his tenure of 32 years with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, (SPCA), Bob Kerridge assumed many roles including Chief Executive, Executive Director and member of the Board. He was a National Councillor with the Royal NZ SPCA, eventually becoming its National President, and was also a Director of the World Society for the Protection of Animals, (WSPA). He was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2004 and promoted to Officer of the Order for services to animal welfare and governance in the Queen’s Birthday honours in 2018.
He has recently established a Fellowship to seek positive and harmonious solutions for animals, humans and the environment.

SOURCE

Correspondence from OSPRI on their deliberate release of TB infected possums

OSPRI RESPONSE TO RECENT QUESTIONING RE CLARENCE RESERVE, MARLBOROUGH, IN RELATION TO AERIAL 1080 POISONING

Carol Sawyer writes: “This correspondence was sent to me by a Facebook friend last night and I felt it was worth posting in its entirety. It includes, for example, such questions as whether any rat and/or possum population assessment was carried out on the Clarence Reserve – either before or after the Oct 2016 aerial 1080 poison drop.

Nick Hancox, OSPRI Policy Advisor, is clearly rattled by reference to their release of deliberately Tb-infected possums.
He says below (6 July, 2017) “In closing I ask you to note that the deliberate release of TB-infected possums (for research purposes) was into a small area of the Orongorongo Valley, where TB in possums was already chronic and at high prevalence. The experimental release was immaterial in regard to disease risk and prevalence in the area. Unfortunately this matter has been the subject of a number of ill-founded and frankly mischievous pubic statements and claims.”

He appears to be denying the same thing was done at Muzzle Station in the Clarence Reserve. Well it was!

So I have also included earlier correspondence I had myself with OSPRI (April 2016) re deliberately infected possums released on Muzzle Station. Muzzle Station leases about 8,000 ha of the Clarence Reserve.”

***************************************************

RE DELIBERATELY INFECTING POSSUMS WITH TB (Carol’s correspondence referred to above)

I had a phone conversation in April, 2016, with Phillip Dawson, Operations Extension Officer for OSPRI NZ Ltd in Hamilton and he sent me this email

“Hello,

Links below might help to explain the release of TB infected animals for research, as we discussed over the phone.

Release of tb possum in Orongorongo valley https://www.tbfree.org.nz/research-work-vital-to-achieving-…

Muzzle station research https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/…/how-does-chronic-tb-af…

Not sure of how many more of these might have been done but all would have been under a controlled conditions where TB animals can be traced and removed and where TB is already in wildlife in the area.

Regards, Phil”

I asked Phil if he thought they would kill all the remaining possums with the 1080 drop and he said they would kill 90% of the possums and eventually do two more drops and get the rest!

**********************************************************
RECENT CORRESPONDENCE WITH OSPRI :

Information request to TBfree

Sent: Monday, 3 April 2017 6:03:33 p.m.
Subject: TBfree Contact Us Form

Ka Whata Tu o Rakihouia Conservation Park, including the hunting area known as Clarence Reserve, near Kaikoura, South Island was subjected to aerial 1080 poisoning on the 16 Oct 2016 as part of the agency TB Free’s ‘pesticide control’.
An OIA response from TBFree informed me that the rationale for the operation was because 10 pigs over 2 years were found with TB and that there had been ‘an assumption’ (scientific knowledge unknown) that possum were therefore carrying it too.
Recent OIA results from DoC’s aerial 1080 poison drop at Makarora Valley, South Island revealed that no possum count had been undertaken at all and that rat population assessments revealed very low levels of rats.

With this in mind, I am interested to know the following:
Whether any rat and/or possum population assessment was carried out at Ka Whata Tu o Rakihouia Conservation Park – either before or after the Oct 2016 aerial 1080 poison drop. Please provide detailed methodology and results of these assessments (if they exist).
I understand that there is a current proposal for a further 44,000 hectares adjacent to the Ka Whata Tu o Rakihouia Conservation Park to be aerial 1080 poisoned later in 2017 – The Clarence River reserve. Can you explain why this proposal does not currently appear on DoC Pesticide Summary Interactive map? Can you clarify where such information might be readily available to the public and tourists translations if required?
Finally, can you please provide full details of the rationale for this proposed 1080 poison operation at Clarence Reserve and whether this is at all connected to the 10 wild pigs contained in the previous rationale? Again, I need measurement and assessment (methodology, results) of rats and possum populations within this specific area within the last 5 years (if this exists).

For the purposes of this OIA I confirm I am an NZ resident.

*****************************************************************************

On 4/05/2017, at 11:10, Nick Hancox ( Nick.Hancox@tbfree.org.nz ) wrote:

Dear ………….

I reply to your emailed information request of 3 April 2017 (copied below) as follows:

TBfree NZ completed aerial 1080 baiting for possum control over part of Ka Whata Tu o Rakihouia Conservation Park on 16 October 2016, as part of our Kowhai Swyncombe operation.

Prior to that operation, possum density within the target area had been estimated (in 2014) using Bite Mark Index methodology. This returned a mean Bite Mark Index (BMI) of 12%. Details of the methodology are available at http://www.npca.org.nz/…/a1_possum%20monitoring_2015-nov_lr….

Post-operational monitoring of possum density has not been carried out for the Kowhai-Swyncombe operation. It is our normal practice to monitor possum densities no earlier than 2-3 years after aerial control operations. This later monitoring is more useful, in that it provides an indication of any population recovery and thus allows us to begin the process of monitoring the need for further control work.

Information provided to you on 13 March 2017 (as attached) on findings of TB infected pigs was in relation to TBfree’s planned 2017 Clarence Reserve operation. This operation was originally planned to commence from 1 July 2017. However we are currently negotiating timing of the operation with affected landowners, which is likely to result in a later start date for this operation, possibly in November.

We have no possum monitoring results from the Clarence Reserve operational area. Possum numbers are assumed to be high enough to warrant control, because of the lack of previous possum control in the area. As previously advised to you, the history of TB in both livestock and wild pigs from the area is strongly indicative of TB infection in possums.

We do not monitor rat populations associated with TB possum control operations unless this is specifically required by the Department of Conservation.

DOC Pesticide Summary information for the Clarence Reserve Operation will appear after DOC has been formally notified of a detailed operational plan. This requires consent and boundary agreements to be finalised with affected and neighbouring landowners. Negotiations towards this are still in progress, so the Pesticide Summary may not appear for another month or more. Formal prior notification of the operation – as required under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act – involves a number of steps, including:

· Written notification and visits to all land occupiers within and adjacent to the control area

· Written notice to known likely users of the area, such as hunting and outdoors groups and clubs, concession holders and guides

· A public meeting in Kaikoura which will be advertised

· Notices in local newspapers

· Signposting at all likely access points

Attached for your information is a factsheet for the Clarence Reserve Operation, which will be distributed as part of the above notification. The factsheet for last year’s Kowhai-Swyncombe operation is also attached.

Yours sincerely

Nick Hancox

NICK HANCOX

SENIOR OPERATIONAL POLICY ADVISOR

OSPRI New Zealand Limited

**********************************************************

Hello again Nick.

Can you please inform me as to why the Clarence River area cattle herd apparently historically displaying bTb has not been culled? Whilst travelling in this area last month, it was obvious that cattle were being walked down public highways through traffic and other contamination risks.

It seems blatantly obvious to me that with no possum assessment or monitoring done and no changes to the way cattle are transported through the area, and no culling of infected herds, that the situation will remain the same.

This cycle of aerial poisoning without scientific rationale – especially when elsewhere possum are being deliberately infected with Tb and released into the environment – is unsustainable and the Directors of Ospri & Doc will now become accountable.

Your response?

*************************************************************

From: Nick Hancox <Nick.Hancox@tbfree.org.nz>
Date: Thu, 6 Jul 2017 at 13:59

Dear……

Without knowing exactly which cattle were being moved where, it is difficult for me to comment. However when cattle are driven along roads, this is usually to move them from one paddock to another within their home farm. This in itself would not create risk of infection spreading to other cattle herds, and in the Clarence Reserve locality, wildlife TB will be also be present, so local droving of cattle along roads would not create any additional disease transmission risks. There are strict controls on movement of cattle from infected herds to live sale or to other herds, and in most cases movement direct to slaughter is the only realistic option. Transmission of TB from cattle to humans (other than by drinking unpastuerised milk from a cow with advanced tuberculous mastitis, or through close and confined contact such as in a milking shed) is extremely unlikely.

TB-infected herds are subject to regular TB tests and all test-positive animals are culled. This usually sufficient to eradicate TB from herds after a few whole-herd tests, unless the herd is exposed to re-infection from wildlife. In the latter case a regular test and slaughter regime can at least keep infection within the herd down to a level where continuing to maintain the herd is feasible and economic.

Whole herd slaughter is an option in some cases but it makes little sense where re-infection from wildlife is likely, as any replacement herd would soon become infected as well.

You can find details of herd testing and movement control policies in our National Operational Plan at http://www.tbfree.org.nz/national-operational-plan.aspx

In closing I ask you to note that the deliberate release of TB-infected possums (for research purposes) was into a small area of the Orongorongo Valley, where TB in possums was already chronic and at high prevalence. The experimental release was immaterial in regard to disease risk and prevalence in the area. Unfortunately this matter has been the subject of a number of ill-founded and frankly mischievous pubic statements and claims.

Yours sincerely

Nick

NICK HANCOX

SENIOR POLICY ADVISOR

OSPRI New Zealand Limited

**************************************************************

Photos

1 ) (Header) Possum being deliberately injected with Tb before release into wild – Landcare Research photo
2 ) Mustering on Muzzle Station – Musters oldest team member, Rick Denton – Photo RadioNZ
3) Hereford cattle crossing the Clarence River on Muzzle Station – Photo “Stuff”

SOURCE

POISONED WAIKATO FAMILY: An experienced hunter asks why no authorities have contacted the hunter who provided the meat that may also have killed his own dog

WHY DID THE AUTHORITIES NOT CONTACT THE PIG HUNTER WHO SOLD THE POISONED FAMILY THE WILD PIG ?!

This comment is from Lloyd Hanson a NZ hunter of 53 yrs experience. He raises some important questions that reflect more inconsistencies in the case of the poisoned Waikato family:

There is a lot of misinformation coming from mainly the pro poison side so here is a small attempt to rectify this :

Here is my opinion, based on over 30 years studying 1080, hunting and observing 1080 aerial drops on the ground. Also as an ex possum hunter I know the bush well.

LD50 rates/pig/human are irrelevant as this is the amount it is meant to take to KILL the animal/human concerned, not to cause ILLNESS, and in the human case has never been studied extensively so the rate is……..?????

Clyde Graf, Steve Graf and I observed a margin 1080 aerial drop in the Teme Valley, Marlborough a few years back, and after 12 hours we discovered 7 dead red deer hinds and a 50kg pig dead in the river.

We found the deer that we believe the pig had fed on, and it had eaten out the paunch (gut) area which resulted in it’s death a few hours later !

The deer of course had taken a lot more pellets than was necessary to reach its LD50 rate as one could stand in one place under the helicopter’s course and observe several pellets, making it easy for the hind to smell and pick up the scented cereal based baits in a short time period.

Now in the case of the poisoned wild pork consumed by the Indian people who were admitted to hospital in a critical condition :

The hunter who caught the pig was hunting in an aerial 1080’d block! He may have been unaware, as some hunters have access through the back of farms or through isolated, unsigned areas.

He may have been using holding dogs which latch onto the head or ear area if possible, and will bite somewhere to get a grip, resulting in ingestion of blood or saliva from the pig. It depends on how long it takes the hunter to get to the pig how much blood can be ingested ! Also some hunters feed offal to their dogs to reward them for their effort at the time of capture.

The word on the street is that this pig hunter’s dog was fed the heart of the pig.

It is unknown how deadly this poison is to humans. It may well be as toxic to humans as it is to dogs. No testing is done on humans and the research used to defend the poison is mostly anecdotal from years ago.

I will only cover this aspect of the whole sorry affair but will leave you with this thought:

How come Ministry of Primary Industries, or Waikato District Health Board, or NZ Police didn’t contact the hunter concerned, because if these people had died it could have been a manslaughter case, could it not? The poisoned family’s lawyer managed to contact him without a bother !

Lloyd Hanson

Hunter for 53 years.”

Postscript : The dog died, presumed to be of poison. See this film “DHB coverup” for the whole story :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6i4pZ5RYI4

and see this older article ( 10 December, 2017 ) by a neuroscientist, on the same topic of the poisoned Waikato family, which has some interesting info on 1080 in pigs :

https://envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com/…/update-on-th…/

FOR A HISTORY OF THIS STORY GO HERE:

https://envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com/suspected-1080-poisoning-cases/


FURTHER POST SCRIPT FROM CLYDE GRAF:

Does anyone out there know a forensic pathologist – a medical expert – who can make a determination on what poison is likely to have caused the following effects-symptoms in the poisoned family from Putaruru? The family that the Waikato DHB said was suffering from botulism? (If so, please email tvwild@xtra.co.nz – in confidence, or contact through messenger on FB).

Points to note

Shibu, one of the victims, stated he believed the poisoning was caused by 1080 (sodium monofluoroacetate) based on what he recalled the pig hunter had told him when receiving the pig, and upon gaining consciousness after 3 weeks in a coma. The pig hunter also reportedly told Shibu that the pig was fine to feed to his family (as is also stated by DoC, TBFree and regional councils – you’d need to consume a huge amount of poisoned flesh to get a dose that would harm you).

The New Zealand Government-owned factory that imports and manufacturers the baits currently says it’s mix is 0.15% pure 1080 in bait. And that just 30 grams of bait, or 2 and a half standard sized 12 gram baits, may kill an adult human. 166 of these twelve gram baits are currently spread (@ 2kg bait/Ha) across every hectare of land and water in New Zealand aerial operations. Enough bait to kill over 60 million people every year… https://www.pestoff.co.nz/assets/sds1080pellets.pdf

Also note – Shibu stated that the pig hunter told him that his dog had died on the same day, assumed to be from 1080 poison. Also note – over 70% of New Zealand’s forests are aerially spread with 1080 poison every 2 – 3 years … the poison is spread across forests, and also across all waterways within those forests, in most aerial operations around New Zealand. (See www.tvwild.co.nz for information about aerial operations across New Zealand)

Here are the symptoms to consider …

Symptoms mentioned in medical notes:

Vomiting
Abdominal pain
Agitated
Confused
Groaning
Reduced verbal response
Vocal paralysis
Muscle weakness
Opthalmoplegia (paralysis of muscles within or surrounding the eyes)
Pupils sluggish
Eyes rolling back in head
Reduced GCS (eye, verbal and motor response)
Tachycardia
Spontaneous jerky movements
Hypotonia
Biting
Personality change
Aggression
Sweaty
Fever
Delirium
Tremors
Repetitive muscle twitching and eye flickering
Dystonic posturing of legs
Spasmodic rigid movements
Legs flipping backwards 180 degrees
Legs in frog position
Flailing arms and legs that need to be restrained to avoid injury
Arms out to side or above head
Convulsions that required six staff members to hold the patient down
Tonic clonic seizures
Difficulty swallowing
Fatigue
Autonomic dysfunction
Afebrile
Muscle pain
Rising inflammatory markers
Elevated levels of CK (highest about 5000)
Facial grimacing
Unresponsive to pain
Tongue protrusion at times
Cough
Arching and flinging head, arms and legs against side rails
Incoherent
Unconscious
Pachymeningeal thickening
Inability to think clearly
Crying
Wailing

pestoff.co.nz


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For further info on 1080, and for links to resources go here.

The most disturbing thing to watch is a 1080ed animal die … the pleading in their eyes as they try and drag themselves to shelter

by Stewart Shand via Carol Sawyer

 “I MAY HAVE BEEN THE BRINGER OF DEATH. BUT NOT SUFFERING. ALSO I DIDN’T KILL WHAT I WAS TRYING TO SAVE, AS IN THE BIRDS”

Back in the mid 1990s I was awarded an eradication contract with a forestry administration company in the Wairarapa. My job was to eradicate anything that had four legs, a tail, and a head from 6000 hectares of farm land. This farm land was bought by an overseas investor and was being planted in pines. The original contract ran for two years until the pines had established themselves.

In the contract I could remove from the property any, if not all the dead animals I wanted. This arrangement would give me a fairly good income from possum fur on top of the contract fee. So I thought.

To do the job efficiently I split things up into categories and times. For instance sheep and cattle in daylight. Possums at night. Rabbits and hares at night. Deer at night. Goats in daylight. Pigs in daylight and night. Traps and cyanide laid in daylight, and so on. Then the days and nights were split to target specific animals. If I was targeting rabbits and hares on a particular night, all the deer, sheep, etc were left alone. OK, I did take out the odd deer, pig and possum. No two consecutive nights had the same target.

For those wondering how I can see things at night, not very many nights are pitch black and you do get used to it over time. Also I used to have a small hand torch strapped to my shoulder to help when I was rolling a smoke. The kill light was a million candlepower handheld spotlight hooked into the motorbike. Also a 500 candlepower battery-run backpack spotlight for when I had to leave the bike.

As with most people working days or night shift I had my break times. These break times coincided with me reaching particular parts of the farm. These places were sheltered spots and mostly near native bush. A couple were right on the boundary with a conservation property. Another spot was beside an area of manuka that had been crush-rolled so they could plant in amongst it. It was in these areas when you switched off the lights and engine of the four wheeler that you could lay back on the ground and appreciate the noises made by the night life. Kiwis calling, nightingales flitting around, moreporks calling. The odd hedgehog coming in to see what you have for smoko.

Then the night up by the crushed manuka, two little moreporks landing on the front carrier of the bike with their big eyes sort of asking what’s for dinner. Parent sitting on the fence watching both myself and them.

The next night I returned at about the same time, this time with cut up rabbit. I waited around for a while and they didn’t turn up so I left pieces of rabbit on the ground and on the fence posts. Two nights later I was back in the area and with a bit of possum was going to leave them a feed. The lights picked them up sitting on the fence as I was going down the track. To keep a long story short, over time I could get fairly close to them but not quite hand feed them.

Meanwhile back in the other spots the night life could get rowdy on occasions. I used to take out the odd person with me for a hunt and they loved sitting in these places listening. A lot of them never realised just how much night life was in the bush.

Well all this changed the day the council twats turned up. OK, I won’t go into details about what was said etc, but they ended up hand laying 1080 and I wasn’t leaving. I had a job to do. These guys laid bait on the main tracks in places that thick that if you put your No 11 boot down you stood on at least 3 baits. You couldn’t tell them that where they were laying baits there weren’t any possums, rats, stoats, etc. As far as they were concerned I didn’t know anything or how to catch them. So my 40 odd traps that had been in this particular area along with cyanide baits for last 4 months were all wrong. Only things I got out of that area was 3 deer, 2 pigs, and a goat. I never even found a possum after them either. To me it was a transit gully where animals passed through.

The most disturbing thing to watch is a 1080ed animal die. The pleading in their eyes as they try and drag themselves to shelter can even get to the hardiest of us. It still gets at me. I spent a lot of my time putting bullets into them instead of hunting the ones that had got away.

The birdlife at the rest spots ceased. Everything went deathly quiet. I never saw my three moreporks again. Even the hawks succumbed to 1080. I had to get off my bike and go and put the odd pig deer out of its misery.

They can make an eerie screaming noise when dying from 1080. Riding around that block at night, and in daylight after 1080 was like as if you were in a horror movie. The feeling of death all around. Not only had they eradicated their target, but also what they were supposed to save. I spent a few nights in the conservation area after they did the 1080 to see if there was any life deeper in. …. Nothing.

I may have been the bringer of death. But not suffering. Also I didn’t kill what I was trying to save, as in the birds.”

NOTE: dying from 1080 poison says a Veterinarian, is like being electrocuted for two plus days. Why is DoC allowed to do this? Please ask this question of your governmental authorities. For other articles on 1080 use the categories or search box. Further info on 1080 pages can be found at our 1080 pages at the main menu.

Photo – Morepork and young, Wikipedia

Deer are Mass-poisoned in NZ

Published on Nov 24, 2017

Poisoning agencies and their apologists claim that few non-target animals are killed in poisoning operations. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here’s a collection of recent incidents …

The Graf Boys – Clyde & Steve Graf

http://www.youtube.com/thegrafboys

http://www.thegrafboys.org

http://www.tvwild.co.nz

See our 1080 pages also for more info on 1080, and search in categories for other articles.