Tag Archives: Predator Free 2050

Jane Goodall Says Don’t Use 1080, Jan Wright Says Use More

An article here from psychologytoday.com, Mark Bekoff PhD, on the use of 1080 in NZ. Use would be a polite word given NZ has been literally slathered with this deadly poison for over 50 years. It’s killing everything and not just pests. EWR

“New Zealand’s former Commissioner of the Environment—1080 is moderately humane.”

There are more humane ways of dealing with ‘invasive species’ than 1080, world-renowned conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall says.” 

I abhor the use of the word pest.” —Jane Goodall

“It is my view based on careful analysis of the evidence that not only should the use of 1080 continue (including in aerial operations) to protect our forests, but that we should use more of it.” Jan Wright, New Zealand’s Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (2007-2017)

New Zealand continues to have major animal welfare issues. A growing number of people are extremely concerned with their war on wildlife, the goal of which is to kill all invasive “pests,” including rats, possums, stoats, and other invasive animals by 2050, using the horrific poison 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate)—which also kills numerous non-target nonhuman animals (animals) including cows and native kea—along with other brutal methods including trapping, snaring, shooting, and possum stomping. Michael Morris rightly notes that in this war “there are issues with the recruitment of children for killing, humiliation of combatants, questionable economic motives for the ‘war,’ deception by government agencies, lack of consultation, a lack of consideration of alternatives, the use of excessive suffering, and unrealistic expectations.”

In addition to adults taking part in this widespread massacre, youngsters also are being trained to harm and to kill non-native animals in school-sanctioned programs. The Jane Goodall Institute New Zealand has called for a ban on school possum hunts. It also should be noted that as of May 2015, New Zealand declared all animals to be sentient beings and continues to rank among countries with the highest levels of domestic violence.

I’ve listed a number of essays in the reference section that deal with what’s happening in a place that many people call “a country of peaceful people.” A native New Zealander told me, “Millions of nonhumans numerous humans would surely disagree with this picture of the country I deeply love. The government is recklessly destroying countless lives and gorgeous landscapes.”

New Zealand’s continuing war on wildlife is one of the most inhumane assaults on nonhuman animals and a wide variety of pristine landscapes, air, and water. It’s clear that public safety has been put at risk by the use of 1080, including reprehensible aerial poisoning operations. I continually receive emails from people who are appalled at the barbaric way in which millions of animals are killed, and beautiful environments are destroyed by environmental poisons, including some messages from people who are all for getting rid of non-native species, but who are deeply concerned and put off by the brutal and inhumane slaughter of these sentient beings.

I recently learned of a report by Dr. Jan Wright written when she was Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, called “Evaluating the use of 1080: Predators, poisons and silent forests,” that sets the current stage for the use of 1080 and other brutal environmental poisons. She continues to work to make parts of New Zealand pest and predator-free. I’ve also learned that many New Zealanders don’t know about this one-sided and misleading essay about this highly condemned poison that causes deep and enduring pain before the animals finally die. Dr. Wright’s report is accessible for free online.

On page 52 of this biased and uninformed report, we read,

“A recent report commissioned by the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) rated the relative humaneness of 1080 and other pest control techniques used in New Zealand.159 The results of the NAWAC report form the basis of the humaneness assessments in this report. The NAWAC report rated 1080 as moderately humane.” 

In a review of the toxicology and ecotoxicology of 1080, Dr. Charles Eason and his colleagues note that compared to the negative ecological impacts of 1080, “the animal welfare implications have received comparatively less attention.” They also write, “In carnivores, and notably in dogs, central nervous system disturbances are marked, and poisoned dogs run uncontrollably, retch and vomit, and appear distressed and agitated with prolonged involuntary muscle contractions exacerbated by convulsions and seizures prior to death from respiratory failure.” Reading the above once made me ill, so I caution you that what happens to animals who ingest 1080 isn’t “pretty,” as a number of people, including a middle-schooler, told me.

What does “moderately humane” really mean?

Being poisoned with 1080 clearly makes for a horrific way to die. It’s “colorless, odorless, and tasteless and is therefore easily ingested by companion animals as well as native species. Its victims—intended or otherwise—experience a slow, agonizing death.” So, it’s time to stop the meaningless talk about 1080 being “moderately humane” or that it amounts to “killing with kindness.”

Killing with kindness,” a phrase put forth by Nicola Toki, the Threatened Species Ambassador of New Zealand’s Department of Conservation (DoC), is a misleading and troublesome oxymoron that covers up the hate and violence with which possums and other animals are vilified as “the enemy.” It’s a perversion of the word “kindness.”

It’s clear that the phrase “moderately humane” basically means it’s OK to allow other animals to endure human-caused, horrific pain and suffering before they die. In many instances, it’s what the complacent science of animal welfare is all about—we do the best we can to reduce suffering, but in the end, it’s perfectly OK to cause pain, allowing them to suffer and die intentionally. Welfarism patronizes millions upon millions of animals and doesn’t really protect them, and whenever you see the word “welfare” in the literature, you can be pretty sure something unpleasant is being done to animals.

The bottom line for welfarists is that they’re trying to make life marginally better for animals in the arenas in which animals are exploited, leaving unquestioned the human practices that cause tremendous animal suffering. Welfarism is a salve for our conscience.

This is the basic reason why Jessica Pierce and I wrote The Animals’ Agenda: Freedom, Compassion, and Coexistence in the Human Age in which we put forth the science of animal well-being in which the life of every single individual matters. This isn’t an animal rights position. Rather, it’s a matter of decency to treat other animals with respect, dignity, and compassion. And this is precisely what the rapidly growing interdisciplinary field of compassionate conservation is all about.

So, this means that even if there are millions of so-called pests, it’s not OK to kill them, because each of their individual lives matters because they are alive. They’re not unfeeling objects with whom we can do whatever we like. Each and every individual cares about how they’re treated. Nonetheless, Dr. Wright and others clearly think it’s just fine to intentionally do things that they know will cause deep pain and suffering.

Calling 1080 “moderately humane” is humane-washing taken to the extreme.

Would 1080 supporters give 1080 to dogs?

It’s also useful to ask those who favor using 1080 if they would give it to dogs and other companion animals. I know some would, however reprehensible this might be. Dogs and cats can harm other animals—they can be “pests” according to some people—and cause environmental damage, so it’s a fair question.

If some people wouldn’t expose these animals to 1080 and other environmental poisons, then why would they allow other sentient beings to experience 1080-induced pain and death? While there are no systematic accounts of dog poisoning due to 1080, around 254 dogs were reported to have been killed by 1080 between 1960 and 1976. Dogs are extremely susceptible to being poisoned.

Along these lines, Dr. Wright writes, “It must be extremely upsetting to lose a cherished dog to 1080, but only eight dogs have died this way in the last four years. The sad reality is that many many more will die on roads each year, and no one is proposing a moratorium on traffic. It is important to keep risks in perspective.”

This is easy for her to say, but people who lose dogs or other animals to 1080 don’t like it one bit, and they’re deeply affected by their losses. Eight dogs are eight too many. For an update on the number of dogs who are actually harmed or killed by 1080 please see note 3. They aren’t spared from the horrific effects of 1080, but some people like to downplay the real numbers.

It’s high time to stop using 1080 and other environmental poisons once and for all: “Cruelty can’t stand the spotlight,”

“In New Zealand, flawed policies to exterminate entire species from our nation are revealing just how important it is that psychology, sociology, history, and ethics, as a few examples, take a greater role in environmental debate and policy.”

New Zealand stands alone in the world for its widespread and growing use of the super toxin ‘1080’, spread by helicopter over hundreds of thousands of hectares of conservation land, rolling hills, and even into waterways and drinking water catchments.” —Reihana Robinson, The Killing Nation: New Zealand’s State-Sponsored Addiction to Poison 1080

I hope that as more and more people become aware of the wide-ranging effects not only on targeted individuals but also on other animals and their homes, they will work hard to stop its use once and for all. Jane Goodall is right on the mark when she notes, “There are more humane ways of dealing with ‘invasive species’ than 1080.” And, going a step further, there are many who favor using more humane non-lethal alternatives, because, in reality, the violent, lethal methods that are used to get rid of non-natives other than 1080 also are brutally inhumane, and they don’t really work. They’re not close to being expressions of compassion and empathy, the animals surely aren’t being killed “softly,” and they don’t help to develop a culture of coexistence between humans and nonhumans.

It’s also hypocritical to declare nonhumans to be sentient beings and then sanction war on them using violent methods that knowingly cause intense and prolonged suffering and death. And using violence against other animals can become addictive and have long-term effects.

New Zealand can easily become a global model for banning the use of 1080 and other horrific environmental poisons and adopting nonlethal methods for dealing with the problems at hand. And, educators should stop teaching children that it’s OK to harm and to kill other animals because this also doesn’t work and establishes a horrific model for future generations. It’s good that not all youngsters want to partake in killing for fun and games.

I look forward to New Zealand and other countries replacing violent and ineffective wars on other animals with respect and compassion for who these nonhuman beings truly are. It’s the decent thing to do. Clearly, declaring other animals to be sentient beings means absolutely nothing to those people who continue to brutalize millions of animals in what some ironically call “a country of peaceful people.”

References

Notes

1) Jan Wright also writes, “The symptoms poisoned animals display also differ. Possums stop eating within an hour of consuming 1080, become lethargic and die between 5 and 40 hours later, depending on the dose consumed.160 Rats can show pain-related behaviours such as increased grooming and stomach scratching, altered breathing, un-coordination and convulsions…Herbivores usually die of heart failure, whereas carnivores are more likely to suffer convulsions and respiratory failure, for possums it lasts between five and forty hours to die.” Wright also acknowledges that 1080 may kill other animals than introduced predators, such as deer and dogs (who may ‘go through states of fitting and uncoordinated movement to difficulty in breathing, lethargy, and paralysis. Vomiting can also occur.”162 (The numbers refers to references in this report.)

2) In practice, animal welfare isn’t much concerned with the plight of individual animals, and “good animal welfare” isn’t really good enough for the billions of non-human animals who are used in a wide variety of human-controlled venues, ranging from so-called factory farms, to laboratories, zoos and circuses, to pets, to wild animals and conservation efforts both in captivity and in more natural settings.

3) “A lethal dose of 1080 for a dog is extremely small compared to other mammals and birds, as seen from LD50 doses (Table 2), and survival of invertebrates exposed to, or dosed with, 1080 (Eason et al. 1993a, b; Booth & Wickstrom 1999). Dog deaths from 1080 poisoning creates enormous negative publicity around the use of 1080 in New Zealand. A comprehensive record of dog poisoning incidents throughout all of the years that 1080 has been used in New Zealand has not been kept. However, 254 dogs were reported killed by 1080 during the period 1960–1976 (Rammell & Fleming 1978), thus reinforcing the knowledge that dogs are very susceptible to secondary poisoning by 1080 (e.g. Eason et al. 2011; Goh et al. 2005). Working farm dogs and hunting dogs are especially susceptible, often because they are in or near operational areas.”  Link to paper here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03014223.2012.740488

The ‘official’ figure of 8 dogs is an insult. One small vet survey alone found 64 dogs presented at vets with 1080 poisoning. As above, 256 reported killed during 1960-1976. Vet toxicology reporting puts the figure in the thousands. If you think about how many unreported dogs are killed out in the bush or on farms where the owners never get to the vet on time or can’t afford to pay a vet to investigate the death, the true figure of pet and working dogs killed by 1080 poison in New Zealand alone would be staggering. Many people talk about the dogs that they lost to 1080 on social media and these were never reported. It’s a tragedy in this country that those who think the poison makes more birds will say to these people they should control their dogs better and it is their fault alone. The truth is that 1080 has fins, wings, legs, and it does not stay in designated ‘drop zones’. See the story of Lulu below.

https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/SC1111/S00030/at-least-65-dogs-in-a-year-poisoned-by-1080-in-new-zealand.htm

Lulu’s story https://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/72573428/dog-dies-after-swallowing-1080-vet

Dogs

And from a retired veterinarian:

I doubt the historical data on dog deaths from 1080 is very accurate as there is no obligation to report them.

As I may have mentioned previously the New Zealand Veterinary Association conducted a survey on treatment outcomes for 1080 poisoned dogs at the request of MPI. MPI anticipated the survey would show 1080 poisoned dogs can be treated successfully. The limited and (selected?) results revealed a very poor prognosis from a surprisingly low number reported cases over the 10 year period of the survey.

My experience on the Coast was that dogs died before they could be brought into the vet clinic. My only successful cases (2) involved secondary poisoning from possum carcasses washed onto farmland long after the aerial application. Never from primary ingestion of a bait.

These video clips document, and present evidence from aerial 1080 poison operations undertaken around New Zealand

Some essays with numerous references about New Zealand’s war on wildlife.

New Zealand Continues to Have Major Animal Welfare Issues.

Accusations of “Invasive Species Denialism” Are Flawed.

“Why Is It Wrong to Not Want to Kill Animals?”

What if New Zealand’s War on Wildlife Included Primates?

The “It’s OK to Kill Animals Humanely” Apology Doesn’t Work.

New Zealand Kids Get Into Killing Animals and Love Doing It.

Killing Animals Is “Weirdly Addictive” Says New Zealander.

It’s a Ghastly Time to Be a Bunny in New Zealand.

Teaching New Zealand Kids to Kill Animals Is Very Worrisome.

Youngsters Encouraged to Kill Possum Joeys in New Zealand.

New Zealand Kids Kill Possums for Fun and Games.

Long-Term Effects of Violence Toward Animals by Youngsters.

Violence Toward Animals: “Can You Please Help My Daughter?”

New Zealand’s “Possum Stomp” vs. Compassionate Conservation, Individual Well-Being, and Ethics

Does Everybody Really Hate Possums? The Bandwagon Effect.

Rather Than Kill Animals “Softly,” Don’t Kill Them at All.

Compassionate Conservation Isn’t Seriously or Fatally Flawed. (Contains numerous references about compassionate conservation.)

The Clean Pet Food Revolution Will Change the World. (An interview with the authors of a riveting new book about pet food consumption and its effect on nonhumans and the planet as a whole.)

The Animals’ Agenda: An interview About Animal Well-Being.

Animals Need More Freedom, Not Bigger Cages.

Compassionate Conservation Isn’t Veiled Animal Liberation.

Anthropomorphism Favors Coexistence, Not Deadly Domination. (Contains many references about compassionate conservation.)

Eason, C., A. Miller, S. Ogilvie & A. Fairweather. An updated review of the toxicology and ecotoxicology of sodium fluoroacetate (in New ZealandJournal of Ecology, 35, No. 1, pp. 1-20, 2011.

Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa. New Zealand Government 1080 Poison Tests Flawed. Scoop, 2019.

Morris, Michael C. Predator Free New Zealand and the ‘War’ on Pests: Is it a just War? Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 2019.

O’Callaghan, Jody. Conservationist Jane Goodall says ‘more humane ways’ than 1080 to deal with invasive species. Stuff, May 28, 2019.

Palmer, Scott. What is 1080, and why do people oppose it? Newshub, 2018.

Robinson,  Reihana. The Killing Nation: New Zealand’s State-Sponsored Addiction to Poison 1080. Off the Common Books, 2017.

TheGrafBoys. Cows & Endangered Birds Poisoned in Taranaki Aerial Drop. (New Zealand)

Wallach, Arian, et al. Summoning compassion to address the challenges of conservationConservation Biology, 2018.

Wallingford, Golde. New Zealand, The Poisoned Nation.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/nz/blog/animal-emotions/202001/jane-goodall-says-dont-use-1080-jan-wright-says-use-more?fbclid=IwAR1avSBQYxWP8G4NP_Xj3iL-E5QcKVk0fDBDTPp5VC_F1lhtPfK4zp0AMWg

 

SOURCE

https://www.psychologytoday.com/nz/blog/animal-emotions/202001/jane-goodall-says-dont-use-1080-jan-wright-says-use-more?fbclid=IwAR1avSBQYxWP8G4NP_Xj3iL-E5QcKVk0fDBDTPp5VC_F1lhtPfK4zp0AMWg

The Dir General of DoC claims 1080 doesn’t kill non-target species whilst DoC’s own studies show it does

“1080 DOES NOT KILL ANY NON TARGET SPECIES“, Boss of DOC Lou Sanson

From ‘NO to 1080’ facebook page, it was written by Joel Lund of Wanaka, who had the chance to meet up with Lou Sanson at a function recently, and made the most of the opportunity.  Now I’ve seen this decried recently in social media in that the CE was attending a funeral and therefore this was a reluctant ‘interview’. My response to that is, as unfortunate as the setting may have been & all due respects to the departed, nevertheless this is what goes with the territory surely of CEs on their vastly bloated salaries. In bed with the banking fraternity & the greenwash club, and heading up a corporation that is in it for profit only (corporations do not consider humans, just profits, don’t believe me? Watch ‘The Corporation’ movie on the Corporations page, they are literally not allowed to consider the effects of their activities on humans)  … that means you get what you give. Why should Joel Lund therefore be obliged to return human ethics to a steely cold corporate entity? This particular corporation is shutting out all questions from the public on the ground level (witness the folk who have been phoning them up lately with pretty basic questions about imminent aerial 1080 operations who are hung up on and treated like the so-called terrorists media is making anybody who is against 1080 to be). Anyhow …. read on …

Lou Sanson

 

A few weeks ago I met the boss of DOC Lou Sanson and took the opportunity to explain the possibilities and current technology available for the development and use of “Smart traps” to control predators of our endangered native species.
Lou’s response to my quick explanation of the technology and capabilities of such trapping systems was,
“Whats wrong with using 1080 ?”
I responded with,
“Well 1080 is toxic, extremely dangerous and kills so many non target species.”
His abrupt and seemingly angry response was,

“1080 DOES NOT KILL ANY NON TARGET SPECIES.”

Even though I was a bit shocked to hear such a totally blatant lie from the boss of DOC I quickly and calmly said,

“1080 kills about 65 dogs in NZ each year and kills many native birds such as Kea which DOC’s own studies show.”

I am not sure I have quoted the following exactly correct word for word but will be close to it. The conversation continued with Lou Sanson making up excuses as to why the development of advanced “Smart Traps” would not be suitable for predator control instead of 1080 poison.

He said such things as,
“It will cost too much.”
My response was,
“Smart traps would initially cost a hell of a lot to develop and set up but would become much cheaper over time.”

He gestured at the distant snow capped Southern Alps and said,
“Look at that area, the area is too big, their is too much land to cover and so much of NZ is inaccessible.”

I argued that,
“Nowhere in NZ is inaccessible because everywhere is accessible by helicopters and we don’t need to trap every single part of Public Conservation land to save endangered species. Some scientists have also recently made it clear that it would be possible to have many small areas of intensively monitored and predator trapped areas in NZ which could be enough to ensure the survival of endangered species and possibly even allow them to flourish.”

His response was,
“You would know how hard it is to get good staff.”
Which I agreed to and responded with,
“I am absolutely sure good staff can be found as their are plenty of people who would be very happy to be in the bush trapping especially if they could make a reasonable living out of it.”

I explained how camping and working in the bush is dramatically easier than it was in the old days due to advancements in equipment such as cheap satellite communication, GPS, ultra light weight technically advanced hiking and camping equipment that I use myself now such as my ultra light down insulated mattress.

Lou then said,
“So how do you kill all the deer, pigs and chamois ?”

I would describe this as a clear admission from Lou that big game animals are targeted to be killed by 1080 poison and reinforced what I am absolutely sure is fact,  that DOC’s current long term goal is to try to eradicate all big game on public conservation land.* [Editor’s note, they are indeed, see the link below].

I said to Lou,
“After World War 2, deer cullers managed to get the massive deer numbers down without out all the extremely advanced equipment we have today such as helicopters, jet boats and thermal imaging equipped hunting rifles etc.”

Lou went on to ask what my profession or skills were before saying,
“It sounds like you should apply for a job with DOC.”
Then he handed me his DOC business card. I expressed my interest in developing trap technologies but did not take up what seemed to be a job offer.

I spoke further about how companies such as some helicopter companies will be very worried about losing big long term lucrative government 1080 contracts if 1080 is banned but they need to wake up and realize that the 1080 contracts could be changed to contracts to fly in trappers and trapping equipment into Public Conservation land which might actually generate more profits for them than 1080!

It appeared he was in a bit of a “huff” when he finally said he had to talk to other people and walked away.

My impression of Lou is that he is a devout salesman that won’t let the truth get in the way of business deals and feels under pressure to honour the massive multi million dollar long term 1080 logistics and application contracts he has no doubt signed up with various companies. Those companies that have invested in the growing 1080 industry and no doubt gone ahead and financed such things as new trucks and helicopters on the back of long term government guaranteed contracts will not be very happy with him if the 1080 industry came to a screeching halt!

I won’t be feeling sorry for Lou Sanson when that day (hopefully) finally comes as it is hard to have any respect for a man that is so quick to lie to you even in person by saying,
“1080 does not kill any non target species”.

Disgusting conduct from the Boss of DOC!

*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

Photo: CEO Magazine
Header: Pixabay


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.

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.

Finally we don’t endorse violence in any way shape or form.

 

 

 

 

Baby Tahr left to die of cold & starvation as Sth Island cull gets under way, right on calving

The cruelty of this killing frenzy knows no end it seems. NZ’s ‘predator free 2050’ scheme aims to rid us of ALL introduced, non-native species except farming stock.

They are already coming for your cats. Of course they failed to fill us in on all of this finer detail. That would involve divulging all they signed us up to decades ago. Do read that article at the first link by Jenese James. It is very enlightening on the culling topic. If you keep your eyes open & read between the lines you may have noticed culling is becoming a common word (not to mention either the extinction of species!). One I saw not too long ago was the culling of Canadian Geese off Palmy’s Lagoon in Centennial Drive. It shocked onlookers & took place in the school holidays where children could have seen it. This scheme has already been condemned by two academics as being unrealistic. You don’t have to even be an academic however to figure it’s unrealistic, or cruel. Not rocket science really.  It’s been said by more than one notable person that a nation can be judged by the way it treats its poor and vulnerable, and its animals.  NZ, once a welfare state, is now found seriously wanting on all counts of that one.

Following is information on the Tahr cull from Carol Sawyer.

TAHR CULL UNDERWAY – BABIES LEFT TO DIE OF COLD AND STARVATION (Please share)

It has come to my notice, from an extremely reliable source, that at least two helicopters were working for the Department of Conservation last weekend – carrying out the Tahr cull (the one that Eugenie Sage said would not now be carried out until next winter) in the designated Tahr cull area that was organised prior to the fatal Wanaka helicopter accident on 20 October, 2018.

One helicopter flew out of Manapouri and a second involved is allegedly Wanaka-based.

The Dept of Conservation is crying out for more money​,​ and yet the helicopter from Manapouri would have had a three hour return trip, I’m told, at a cost of at least $1,500 per hour plus GST​ – ​ just to position it for the Tahr cull. There are several helicopters closer that could have been used instead.

The helicopter from Manapouri was carrying a DoC biodiversity officer to do the shooting.

tahr baby
Baby Tahr left to die of cold & starvation without their mothers

The Tahr are calving now. I’m informed the babies would probably not have been seen, as they are “planted” for the first two weeks of life, in a similar manner to deer – with Mum coming back to feed them. They will have been left to die of cold and starvation.

I have also heard via a​ second​ source, a shocked helicopter owner, that DoC are shooting the nanny Tahr in the guts so they go away and die invisibly in the bush, presumably in severe pain. If they were visible their skeletons would be visible for several years. This way they are hidden from public view. I SO hope this is not true!

“NZ’s Predator Free 2050 program .. not .. well informed by scientific knowledge or conservation best practice” say two conservation academics

NZ’s very controversial Predator Free 2050 program is driven by “international agreements and a global agenda to purge all non native species of animals and plants around the world”.

A paper published by Professor Wayne Linklater and Dr Jamie Steer (July 2018) in Conservation Letters: A Journal of the Society for Conservation Biology  (cited at the Wiley Online Library*) concludes that the Government’s Predator Free 2050 program “has not been well informed by scientific knowledge or conservation best practice. It also misdirects attention” they say “from more fundamental and direct threats to biodiversity protection and recovery”.

Associate Professor Wayne Linklater from Victoria University’s School of Biological Sciences, considered by many to be the “founder of modern pest management in New Zealand” was recently awarded the 2018 Peter Nelson Memorial Trophy by New Zealand’s Biosecurity Institute in recognition of his research in pest management.

Dr Jamie Steer is a  Senior Biodiversity Advisor for Greater Wellington Regional Council. He has a Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Science from the University of Auckland, a Master of Science in Ecology and Biodiversity, and a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He is a former member of the Ecological Society of New Zealand and a current Associate of the New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies.

I’m sure you will agree that these two academics are well qualified to be commenting on NZ’s Predator Free agenda. DoC have purportedly discussed with them the concerns outlined in their research paper, however DoC is undeterred. Bear in mind they are tasked with selling to the public a global agenda signed up to historically to rid every nation in the world of any and all non native species, plant and animal.

You can read the research paper at the link:

Predator Free 2050: A flawed conservation policy displaces higher priorities and better, evidence‐based alternatives

Abstract

New Zealand’s policy to exterminate five introduced predators by 2050 is well‐meant but warrants critique and comparison against alternatives. The goal is unachievable with current or near‐future technologies and resources. Its effects on ecosystems and 26 other mammalian predators and herbivores will be complex. Some negative outcomes are likely. Predators are not always and everywhere the largest impact on biodiversity. Lower intensity predator suppression, habitat protection and restoration, and prey refugia will sometimes better support threatened biodiversity.

READ THE ENTIRE PAPER AT THE SOURCE:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/conl.12593


 

*”Conservation Letters is a scientific journal publishing empirical and theoretical research with significant implications for the conservation of biological diversity. The journal welcomes submissions across the biological and social sciences – especially interdisciplinary submissions – that advance pragmatic conservation goals as well as scientific understanding”.  SOURCE

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Two academics have hit out at the Government’s Predator Free 2050 goal, calling it “badly designed and unachievable”

From News Hub

They say the plan could lead to a decline in public support for conservation policy, because it’s an “impossible” target destined for “inevitable failure”.

The plan was announced by former Prime Minister John Key in 2016, and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage has previously said it needed a “reality check”.

Victoria University School of Biological Sciences associate professor Wayne Linklater and ecologist Dr Jamie Steer said their research shows the plan is based on flawed assumptions.

Those assumptions are:

  • Predator extermination is the best way to protect biodiversity
  • The country needs to eradicate every stoat, rat and possum to protect biodiversity
  • A complete eradication of predators is possible

“None of these assumptions are true,” Mr Linklater said.

“Complete eradication of predators is technologically impossible, and biodiversity is affected more in some places by habitat decline and plant eaters than it is by predators.”

He said eliminating select predators from complex communities of plants, animals, and humans was likely to be harmful, causing populations of other introduced animals to erupt.

READ MORE

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2018/07/nz-s-impossible-predator-free-2050-goal-blasted-by-academics.html

Trialing GM insects in NZ – Good reason for skepticism on Landcare Research’s collaboration with DARPA & Gates Fndn warns GE Free NZ

See our recent related post on the selection of NZ and Australia for trialing GM insects, all part of the NZ Gov’s pest eradication program called Predator Free 2050.

There are good reasons to be skeptical about the hype behind the GBiRd project, the programme coordinated by Landcare research in collaboration with overseas partner the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) with funding from the Gates Foundation. [1] – GE Free NZ

18/12/2017

Warning Against Gene-Drive Hype Provided by AgResearch Gene Experiment

There are good reasons to be skeptical about the hype behind the GBiRd project, the programme coordinated by Landcare research in collaboration with overseas partner the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) with funding from the Gates Foundation. [1]

Research has found that gene drive technology has many problems; immune systems in wild populations could override the sterility gene after a few generations. With no control over the ability of the genetic technology to be contained there are risks that sterility could spread to other countries. There is the potential that, as TB spreads, so could the sterility technology, which could severely affect farmers who have livestock. The only gene drive technology that has been developed is in mosquitoes. Promoters nevertheless continue to hype unrealistic promises about gene drive applications to the public.

The New Zealand Herald reported that Minister Sage “elbowed out” the gene drive project. [2] That project was looking at New Zealand islands to introduce sterile genetically modified small mammals like mice and rats to see if they were able to breed.

GE animal experiments at AgResearch refute promises of animal genetic engineering that have produced disasters for animal welfare. These experiments show the need for much more caution before allowing genetically engineered organisms outside containment.

“New Zealanders were softened up by promises of medical benefits. GE animals were funded instead of a focus on research funding for issues that farmers are desperate to address. AgResearch annual reports reveal data on animal euthanasia and deformity,” said Claire Bleakley, president of GE Free NZ.

‘Daisy’, the calf that made headlines because she carried a gene that knocked out an allergy protein in milk called beta-lacto globulin, had to be euthanised after living only three years. She was born without a tail and suffered from skeletal deformities that eventually forced her to be killed on humanitarian grounds. [3]

The original experiment on transgenic cows that expressed the human gene Myelin Basic Protein for Multiple Sclerosis has ended with the last cow being euthanised due to chronic lameness from hip problems that did not respond to treatment.

There are also transgenic goats being bred at the Ruakura site. The goat experiments started in 2010, since then many hundreds of embryos have been created, carrying GE genes for synthetic pharmaceutical drugs already readily available on the market. Only 46 goats survive. This year, seventy-nine goats of varying ages were euthanised due to being surplus or killed following veterinary advice, and 9 goats were found dead in the paddock. [4]

“This disastrous experiment in genetic engineering of animals must be a warning against ignoring and underplaying the risks when gene drive experiments are being discussed,” said Claire Bleakley.

References:
[1] Gene Drive Files http://genedrivefiles.synbiowatch.org
[2] Conservation Minister opposes GM-rodent plan http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11952990
[3] AgResearch Annual Reports to EPA 2017 – http://www.gefree.org.nz/assets/pdf/Annual-Report-ERMA200223-2017.pdf
[4] GE Animals in New Zealand –the first 15 years. http://www.gefree.org.nz/assets/pdf/GE-Animals-in-New-Zealand.pdf

ENDS

Claire Bleakley06 3089842/ 027348 6731
Jon Carapiet 0210507681

SOURCE:

http://press.gefree.org.nz/press/20171218.htm