Tag Archives: rat poison

In 2004 the DHS was asked to ban the production of odorless, tasteless 1080 – the most toxic pesticide registered by WHO – because it could be used by terrorists to poison US water supplies

Note : Tull was closed only recently. Clearly NZers have not been the only people concerned about the toxicity of 1080 & its contamination of waterways. In the UK and the EU it was banned. See our other story to come.

December 19, 2004

 

The small factory at the end of Burton Street does not look like much from the outside, but its product is getting attention from Washington to the other side of the world.Virtually unknown outside the neighborhood where it has been operating since the late 1950s, Tull Chemical Co. is the only known producer of Compound 1080, developed as a rat poison in German-occupied territories during World War II. Once banned in the United States, a teaspoonful could kill dozens.Compound 1080 is used only sparingly in the United States but more widely in New Zealand to control outdoor predators and pests. Animal welfare groups and other environmentalists say it should again be outlawed because it kills too indiscriminately.Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.) has asked the Department of Homeland Security to ban production of the odorless, tasteless poison for another reason: the belief by the FBI and others that Compound 1080 — the most toxic pesticide registered by the World Health Organization — could be used by terrorists to poison U.S. water supplies. There is no known antidote.Trying to hold on to a business started by his grandfather, Tull Chemical owner Charles Wigley defends his product as safe when used properly. Other chemicals could be just as deadly in the hands of terrorists, he argues, and someone else could start making the poison.

Besides, unknown quantities of the poison could be stored around the United States from decades ago, before production was regulated.

“If they shut me down, it’s not like it’s going to just go away,” Wigley said.

Homeland Security spokeswoman Valerie Smith said the agency is reviewing Compound 1080, but it lacks the authority to ban production.

DeFazio previously asked the Environmental Protection Agency to shut down Tull Chemical because of safety problems at the company and the danger of its product, but officials refused. Neighbors of the factory were not surprised.

Lea Cheatwood has lived about 150 yards from Tull Chemical for decades, but she did not know what the company made until the early 1990s, when a neighbor obtained a copy of an EPA audit that cited numerous safety problems at the small plant, about 50 miles east of Birmingham.

Since then, Cheatwood has spent hours watching the plant and keeping logs that document truck traffic from the site, located in a city of about 15,000 people. Cheatwood said local, state and federal officials all have ignored complaints that the company transports deadly chemicals in unmarked trucks, has virtually no security and sits on the bank of a creek that regularly floods.”They all just say it’s not in their jurisdiction,” Cheatwood said. “It’s an extremely dangerous product, and it worries me it’s made in my neighborhood.”Wigley said he follows the law and laces his poison with black dye that would show up if the chemical, an organic compound, got into floodwaters in the neighborhood or — if used by terrorists — a public water reservoir.”I haven’t been contacted by Homeland Security, but EPA visits a couple of times a year,” Wigley said. He accused Rep. DeFazio of trying to make a name for himself with environmentalists by seeking the ban on Compound 1080.”He’s talking about shutting down a plant in Alabama. They’re against outsourcing jobs, but he’s talking about outsourcing mine,” Wigley said.

Tull Allen, Wigley’s grandfather, started Tull Chemical in 1956 after purchasing the process to make Compound 1080 from Monsanto Co., which had made the poison at a nearby plant that later became infamous for polluting Oxford and nearby Anniston with PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls.

Compound 1080 originally was developed as a rat poison in Nazi-controlled territory in the 1940s, and some research indicates that the Nazis considered using it to kill people in Holocaust death camps before deciding it was too dangerous for guards, said Brooks Fahy, executive director of the Oregon-based Predator Defense, which wants the poison outlawed.

The recipe made it to the United States, where the poison was used on rats and then at livestock ranches to kill coyotes and other predators.

Faced with complaints that the chemical was also killing eagles and other animals, the Nixon administration in 1972 banned the use of Compound 1080 for livestock protection. The Reagan administration reversed course in 1981, and the EPA said the poison could be registered for limited domestic use in poison-laced collars worn by sheep.

Government records show Tull Chemical closed for several years in the mid-1980s as the government considered whether to allow continued production of Compound 1080, but Wigley later reopened it. He reinforced the buildings and installed a chain-link fence topped by barbed wire after an EPA review noted inadequate security and other problems.

Wigley said he makes as much as five tons of the poison annually, with most of it being exported to New Zealand. He said his only U.S. customer is the Department of Agriculture, which said it uses less than four tablespoons of Compound 1080 annually in sheep collars. The collars kill coyotes by poisoning them when they bite an animal’s throat.

The poison collars are used in nine states, but the government said they only kill a couple dozen coyotes annually. It was once used in California, but voters there in 1998 approved a ballot resolution banning the use of Compound 1080 and another poison, sodium cyanide.

Environmentalists in New Zealand oppose the use of Compound 1080, which they claim kills slowly and painfully and can poison animals that feed on carcasses of its victims. Their protests are echoed in the United States by groups including Predator Defense, which got DeFazio involved in the issue.

Fahy has twice visited Oxford to gather information about Tull Chemical and Compound 1080.

“It’s so dangerous, there’s no legitimate use for it,” he said. “It is beyond belief that this place is operating and operating where it is.”

A locked gate blocks the entrance to Tull Chemical in Oxford, Ala., the only manufacturer of Compound 1080, a deadly poison opponents say poses terrorism and environmental risks.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2004/12/19/maker-of-lethal-chemical-fights-a-ban/f4103ea0-4390-4c34-8929-2ef667f570a2/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.22b67612defc

Between 2012 & 2014, Auckland Council tested wild pigs for brodifacoum (rat poison) residues … of the 14 tested, 13 were positive for poison residues (Clyde Graf)

From Clyde Graf

Many people in New Zealand rely on wild pigs to feed the family.

Between 2012 and 2014, Auckland Council tested wild pigs for brodifacoum (rat poison) poison residues. Of the 14 pigs tested, 13 of them were positive for poison residues.

The Department of Conservation aerially spreads brodifacoum bait across offshore islands to eradicate targeted wildlife. The DoC policy for using the poison on the mainland is however, far more strict. (see below)

Oddly, brodifacoum can be brought over the counter at hardware stores all around New Zealand, and some regional councils dish tonnes of the stuff out to local communities to spread around – like on the Coromandel Peninsula, where there are pigs present.

Perhaps a review of the use of this poison is warranted??? And while they’re at it, put a moratorium on 1080 poison as well …

OIA request details below:

brofidacoum testing 1

 

brofidacoum testing 2

In 1984 the entire western weka population on NZ’s Tawhitinui Island was exterminated in a brodifacoum poison drop (important info here for hunters & fishermen)

Note:  Brodifacoum is a serious rat poison, an anti-coagulant which kills the things that eat it over a long period of time. It has secondary by-kill on animals / things that eat things that have been killed by it.  Instead of slathering poison everywhere it’s time surely that NZ considered eco friendly extermination of pests, given our clean green classification is long gone. So also is our edible wild food. And not only were all the wekas exterminated at Tawhitinui Island, but the following also:

  • Nearly 60% of the Tawharanui Regional Park dotterel population died through eating brodifacoum baits and poisoned sand-hoppers (2004)
  • Brodifacoum residues continued to be found in wildlife more than 24 months after the brodifacoum poison drop in and around the Rotoiti Nature Recovery Project in Nelson (2005)
  • The Rangitoto and Motutapu Island eradication by-kill included dolphins, penguins, fish, numerous dogs and birds
  • Vast numbers of dead mussels washed up on Waiheke Island up to five months after the poison drop
  • Hundreds of dead birds also washed up on Coromandel Peninsula beaches in the months following (2009)
  • More than 10,000 seagulls were killed in Shakespear Regional Park (2011)

EnvirowatchRangitikei

Photo: Wikipedia


 

Huge by-kill of brodifacoum poison

I don’t live in Nelson so dropping 26.5 tonnes of brodifacoum poison into the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary won’t affect me directly, but I care a lot about New Zealand wildlife. I’m the Waikato Regional Councillor for Taupo-Rotorua, and the current Chair of the Environmental and Services Performance Committee.

ACRE, a group that advises Waikato Regional Council, asked councillors to look into our use of brodifacoum during our last Long Term Plan. They were concerned about the bio-accumulation and persistence of brodifacoum in wildlife, and the implications for our food chain. Our EPC Chair at the time, Clyde Graf, agreed to a review.

We invited Penny Fisher, a scientist at Landcare Research to give us readings about brodifacoum and other second-generation anticoagulant rodenticide residues in wildlife. She did a teleconference with our committee; We gathered information from other councils and government agencies and we looked at what’s happening overseas.

A lot of the New Zealand data about brodifacoum by-kill concerned me:

The entire western weka population was exterminated in a brodifacoum drop on Tawhitinui Island (1984); Nearly 60% of the Tawharanui Regional Park dotterel population died through eating brodifacoum baits and poisoned sand-hoppers (2004); Brodifacoum residues continued to be found in wildlife more than 24 months after the brodifacoum poison drop in and around the Rotoiti Nature Recovery Project in Nelson (2005); The Rangitoto and Motutapu Island eradication by-kill included dolphins, penguins, fish, numerous dogs and birds. Vast numbers of dead mussels washed up on Waiheke Island up to five months after the poison drop. Hundreds of dead birds also washed up on Coromandel Peninsula beaches in the months following (2009); More than 10,000 seagulls were killed in Shakespear Regional Park (2011);

Blue cod, mussels, limpets and birds had brodifacoum residues in them after the Ulva Island drop, prompting restrictions on harvesting. Dead robin nestlings on the island were found to have brodifacoum residues, indicating that poisoned invertebrates had been fed to the young birds. Nearly 90% of the weka population was also killed (2011); Brodifacoum and other anticoagulant residues were found in freshwater fish, eels and sediment in Southland (2012); After Great Mercury Island was poisoned, 16 dead seals and a multitude of birds and fish washed up dead on Coromandel beaches (2014); A Landcare Research study of road-killed harrier hawks revealed 78% of those tested had at least one anticoagulant rodenticide in them. Some had as many as four different types. Brodifacoum was common.

It’s dangerous stuff, no doubt.

I asked Auckland Council for the results of their monitoring of feral pigs on islands in the Hauraki Gulf. The reply stated that 13 out of 14 pigs tested positive for brodifacoum residues. Brodifacoum has now been confirmed in fish, shellfish, pigs, bats, deer, eels and birds across New Zealand, which is a concern for those who hunt and fish. There’s also concern for those who commercially harvest wildlife. MPI notified a restricted procurement area for feral pigs in Marlborough due to high levels of brodifacoum residues in pig livers in 2004.

Why would we use brodifacoum when our own scientists have expressed concern about residues persisting in the environment?

Penny Fisher said in 2013 in her Overview/Summary – Environmental Residues of Anticoagulants Used for Pest Control, 10 June 2013.

“There is increasing evidence that uses of anticoagulants for both household rodent control and field pest management are resulting in widespread contamination of both terrestrial and aquatic wildlife. The latter is presumably through carcasses of poisoned animals entering waterways ….”

According to MPI, brodifacoum is the most inhumane toxin we’ve got, causing pain and suffering for days to weeks before an animal succumbs to internal haemorrhaging. Apart from the lethal effects, brodifacoum also causes sub-lethal reproductive and developmental damage. Would you choose to use brodifacoum if you knew it was also going to harm and kill the native species you’re trying to protect?

Personally, I’d prefer to find another method of pest control that’s acceptable to the Nelson community. There are plenty of alternatives.

Kathy White is the Waikato Regional Councillor for Taupo-Rotorua and the current Chair of the Environmental and Services Performance Committee. This is her personal view.

READ MORE

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1709/S00012/huge-by-kill-of-brodifacoum-poison.htm

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