Tag Archives: Rats

Poisoning as a method of pest control in mega-mast years simply creates an imbalance in the ecosystem giving an advantage to the meso-predator – from a Regional Councilor

By Kathy White

This is what I have to say about the mega-mast year, and the need to drop more 1080, as profiled in the media recently…

“The Department of Conservation (DOC) is planning its largest predator control programme in response to a ‘mega mast’ event – exceptionally heavy seeding – in New Zealand forests. The $38 million programme will cover about 1 million hectares of conservation land across the country…”  (Stuff)

All the following quotes have come from DoC or Landcare Research scientists. If there’s a problem with rats, DoC, OSPRI, regional councils and pest control contractors have no one to blame but themselves for using a pest control method that creates imbalance in the ecosystem and which gives an advantage to the meso-predator that breeds fastest.

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Silent forest now in Fiordland’s Hollyford Valley – no birds – only cicadas & tourist traffic a local reports

Do not feed the Kea the sign above advises. Ironic isn’t it? They’ve been fed 1080  unfortunately by the very corporation which purports to protect them. We know 1080 kills every breathing organism (according to Dr Meriel Watts) so what else can we expect? Ten thousand birds in one drop a Landcare scientist has calculated for one of DoC’s drops. This is so not rocket science & yet here we have another sad testimony of the increasingly silent forests.  This one is from Carol Sawyer.

HOLLYFORD VALLEY, FIORDLAND NATIONAL PARK, DEVASTATING AERIAL 1080 POISON DROP, OCTOBER 2017 – 18 MONTHS LATER, STILL DISASTROUS RESULTS – NO RECOVERY !

By Carol Sawyer

Yesterday I visited the Hollyford Valley in Fiordland. What a silent place, apart from the cicadas and the tourist traffic. This road is dangerously busy. One rental car passed me on a double yellow line…this is standard.

FANTAIL PIC TE ARA. 1080S DESTROYED ALL FANTAILS AROUND GUNNS CAMP HV FIORDLAND
All of the fantails have gone from around Gunn’s Camp at Hollyford Valley, Fiordland, NZ  Photo: Te Ara

A recent survey found this narrow winding road has, on average, 150 buses and 1200 cars on it every day. Knob’s Flat is about to have a $30 million lodge put in by the Milford Development Co, so the influx is going to be even greater.

The toilets are so disgusting that I was told yesterday that some bus tour drivers stop and let their passengers toilet in the forest so they don’t have to deal with the assault on their senses. ( Attached is a photo Shane Wilson took of the toilets at The Divide, on the Hollyford Road, about a year ago. I was going to take a photo myself yesterday but the stench the minute I opened the door truly had me reeling backwards, so I didn’t. )

The 1080 drop in the Lower and Upper Hollyford Valleys in Fiordland, 5-6 October, 2017 has been an unmitigated disaster ! The area had never been 1080 poisoned before.

Read on….

RATS :

For many years, there has been a volunteer trapping programme in place around Gunn’s Camp on the Hollyford Road. Ninety-eight traps are set along approximately 20 kms of the Hollyford Road, back into the bush a bit, from Marian Corner to Humboldt Creek and for a couple of kilometres beyond the end of the road.

These traps are set approximately 200 metres apart, and they are cleared every three weeks, weather permitting. For years, these traps averaged a total of 6 to 12 rats every three weeks, all up.

After the 1080 drop, the next couple of trap clearances yielded very little. This is what one would expect immediately after an aerial 1080 drop.

Five months later, March 2018, the traps were cleared and contained 32 rats. Interestingly, some of the traps had two rats in them, which is apparently unusual.

The following weekend the tally was 24 rats. That equates to 54 rats in a period of 6 weeks, whereas prior to the drop one could have expected, at the most, 12 to 24 rats to be caught in that time.

Rats had NEVER been caught here in these numbers before !

Things have not improved. The latest trap clearance, February, 2019, yielded 19 rats and 7 stoats !!

( These results come from inside the Dept of Conservation itself, but I doubt that they would have seen the light of day if they were not exposed here ! DoC need to understand that not all their employees agree with their poisoning ways.)

BIRDS :

KAKA PHOTO. BIRDING NZ. SPECIES NRLY WIPED OUT BY 1080 IN HOLL VLY
Kaka almost wiped out in Hollyford Valley, Photo: Birding NZ

Gunn’s camp in the Hollyford was a Kaka haven. Twenty to forty Kaka were regularly seen there, and as many as fifty were counted on one occasion.

Moreporks ( Ruru ) abounded. One Morepork used to sit behind a generator shed there, and when the generator was turned off every night it then became very vocal. It was a loved ‘character’ of this special place.

All Kaka disappeared after the drop. Eighteen months later up to 3 Kaka have been seen and a Morepork was heard in the distance one night a while ago, according to regulars ( The “generator” Morepork was obviously killed by the poison. ) Fantails are gone.

I guess the DoC poisoners will be back again this year, for their biennial onslaught


COMMENT AT FACEBOOK ON THIS ARTICLE:

“Yes try finding birdlife in the Lindus Pass now days, it’s pretty much NON existent”

If you’ve noticed the same anywhere in NZ, please add your comments to our ‘Silent Forests’ page. Just let me know if you want anonymity or if I can add your name. Thank you.


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Photos at Hollyford Valley, Fiordland, NZ (Carol Sawyer)

  1. DoC’s Hollyford Valley Sign
  2. Hollyford River
  3. Hollyford Valley
  4. Hollyford River
  5. Gunn’s Camp

SOURCE


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.

A news site in India has noticed NZ’s love affair with “poisons, profits and pests”

Word’s getting around isn’t it? Remember this one? One of the great aspects of social media & the internet. All being severely curtailed however as we speak.

From taazakhabarnews.com

inhumane-death-by-1080
Inhumane death by 1080

Almost on the verge of losing its native species New Zealand is beginning to realize the environmental implications of 60 years of indiscriminate aerial application of toxic pesticides and chemicals like 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) in its forest ecosystem. Secondary poisoning due to rat poison is posing a big threat for the birds of prey and insectivores. Though no one wanted it that way, birds are being poisoned when the insects eat the poisonous rat bait and the birds then eat the insects.

For such a small country, New Zealand packs a poisonous punch. Its Department of Conservation (DoC) has a toolbox full of chemical weapons and is willing and able to use them. Last year alone saw aerial broadcasting of 800+ tonnes of toxic bait across an estimated 700,000 HAs of its native forest ecosystems (including lakes and rivers) in a campaign against rats dubbed the Battle for the Birds. The poison used was 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate), which kills by interrupting cellular respiration and affects all life forms requiring oxygen. The extreme toxicity and agonizing mode of action has sparked much controversy about the inhumanity of using such a poison. There is also no known antidote and in the opinion of many 1080 should have been banned outright years ago. In New Zealand, it has been used for over 60 years to control introduced species such as rabbits, possums and rats.

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Native rock wren  – NZ’s only true alpine bird that spends its entire life above the bush line in often difficult climatic conditions

Poisons are a booming business, especially for the “treatment” of rats on islands. In this instance, the poison is brodifacoum a second-generation anticoagulant used for island eradications. The method of aerial application is like “blitzkrieg”, but lack of accuracy and by kill risk means that these operations can impact, as is often witnessed, on sea mammals, fish and birds.

Brodifacoum is also persistent and bioaccumulative.

The New Zealand state-owned enterprise, Animal Control Products imports as much as 90% of the world’s supply of pure manufactured 1080 annually from the United State’s Tull Chemical Company (the sole manufacturer). This is then processed into various baits. But New Zealand’s pest control industry is not all about spreading bait from helicopters or ground-based operations in its own ecosystem, it is also about export opportunities. Animal Control Products has found a niche market for selling New Zealand expertise and products for pest control solutions and island restorations. It is a lucrative sideline for this government. New Zealand provides the skill to kill, marketing its expertise and branding, and proudly presiding over island eradications.

But does the world need such a thing as island eradications and ecosystem restorations? And if we are to believe the world does need such drastic measures, the question needs to asked. Are poisons really working? The respected science journal, Nature, reported in 2012 that “Killing rats is killing birds”. Canada and the United States are planning to restrict the use of blood-thinning rat poisons, such as brodifacoum.

The disastrous eradication of Alaska’s Rat Island used 42 tonnes of brodifacoum. This resulted in the demise of 420 birds including 46 bald eagles that tragically came to dine on rat. One would hope that the island eradication industry would think twice about using poisons that have far reaching environmental implications. Rats will go wherever we go. But still, aerial poisoning of islands is heralded as the “final solution” to the problem of rats. This way of looking at island conservation as a poisoning opportunity was born in New Zealand.

READ MORE

http://taazakhabarnews.com/poisons-profits-and-pests/?fbclid=IwAR1-XQnt4kTdwdAa0KdYAmj9QnI_N-iAFC4I3PgjX4hFXuQp8DktjsthrtA

Cruel poisons will never bring back the birdsong

Mainstream has posted an opinion piece by Fiona McQueen on our diminishing birds.

OPINION: Dave Hansford has launched yet another attack against those opposed to pest control in the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary, near Nelson. This sanctuary has just reopened, surrounded by a 14km pest-proof fence. It will be stocked with kiwi, kākāriki and kākā.

The nasty part is that brodifacoum, a poison graded 8/10 for its ability to cause animal suffering, needed to be introduced first to kill pests inside the fence. It also killed native birds including weka and pukeko.

Do the ends justify the means? A human equivalent would be if a ruling party decided to clear out a country, exterminating all unwanted people and restocking with different people who are representatives of a “chosen race”. Wait a minute, hasn’t that been done before?

Andrea Midgen, chief executive of the SPCA, recently spoke out about the associated animal cruelty saying, “1080 (and other poisons) causes intense, prolonged suffering to animals and therefore we cannot support its use”.

READ MORE

https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/109905094/cruel-poisons-will-never-bring-back-the-birdsong?fbclid=IwAR3yH5TEU4e8nFP4bqDYU-feu_R-hLPL8QrGFVY1Gaoro3l22tFCbfC6gJ8

DoC admits their 1080 rat control operation only lasts 3-6 months … ANNUAL poisoning now for Heaphy Vlly & Coast

From Carol Sawyer
1 Nov 2018

DoC ADMITS RAT CONTROL ONLY WORKS FOR 3 – 6 MONTHS !!
HEAPHY VALLEY AND COAST – TO HAVE ANNUAL AERIAL 1080 POISONING

I have been sent this letter with the comment “Look at this Carol, this is the first time I have seen DOC admit that the poison only holds back numbers of rodents for 3-6 months!”

It is indeed the first time they have admitted that! DoC say in their letter :

“The Department estimates that each pest control operation will provide a window for native species to breed and thrive that lasts around three to six months before rat numbers start to build up again.”

Look at the attached graph… only five months after the 1080 drop, the rat numbers had become HIGHER than they were at the time of the drop and were continuing to climb.

The 20,667 ha area extends over the western end of the Heaphy track, and the drop will take place between October and December, 2018.

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“7 September, 2018

Dear……

This letter is to let you know abut changes to pest control work happening in the Heaphy Valley and along the Heaphy Coast in the coming year.

The Department is moving to trial an annual rodent control program starting from this year in this area due to consistently high numbers of rats outside operation times. These high numbers are impacting the bird and bat populations in the area and threatening other vulnerable native species.

The Department estimates that each pest control operation will provide a window for native species to breed and thrive that lasts around three to six months before rat numbers start to build up again.

The pest control will be closely monitored to ensure it is obtaining the outcomes needed to protect species.

Over the coming months, we will be conducting a consultation process with landowners, the local community and other interested parties.

A fact sheet containing further information on the pest control in the Heaphy Valley and coast is attached.The map shows the indicative boundaries of the operation.

DoC will be contracting a local pest control operator to carry out the work and notifications will be sent out closer to the time of the operation.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of what is proposed then please do not hesitate to contact me at the address below by September 30th, 2018.

Kind regards,

Jess Curtis
Senior Ranger – Bathurst Project
Dept of Conservation”


 

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Prior to its US ban, 1080 was added to water to poison ship rats – yet DoC says it’s safe in our waterways

Remember the NZ Government has changed the rules so that 1080 poison, a Class 1A Ecotoxin, can be dropped directly into our waterways, without a consent from regional councils. They assure us it is perfectly safe and breaks down in water. And yet, here we see historically it was added to water to poison rats. How ‘scientific’ is that? We have two conservation academics with multiple degrees to their names, one considered the ‘founder of modern pest management in NZ’,  discussing their concerns at the science used by DoC to back their Predator Free 2050 program. They say it “has not been well informed by scientific knowledge or conservation best practice”. Now, aside from the questions raised about the reliability of the science behind this ambitious yet questionable program, we have a seeming reluctance by the authorities  to test for 1080 should you get poisoned. Please check out our 1080 ‘Suspected Poisoning’ page to explore that notion. And more recently we had a retired NZ physician threatened with prosecution for advising the public how to go about getting themselves tested should they suspect they’ve been affected by a nearby 1080 aerial drop. He adds that should you die of it, nobody will know. 

Finally, on dilution. To cover that whole topic thoroughly requires a post of its own, however bear in mind the manufacturer’s data sheet warns us not to place 1080 in waterways at all:

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Then there was a former co leader of the Green Party who expressed concern about the testing of post 1080 drop water. The frequency of finding 1080 in water samples is at odds with independent testing he said. 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%. Lastly we have to ask ourselves, if 1080 is so safe in water because it breaks down, then why was there ever a regional council consent required for it in the first place? All in all not good enough in my opinion. Keeping a Class 1A ecotoxin out of your drinking, or any other water really isn’t rocket science.

 

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During the 1950s prior to being banned in the US, 1080 was added to  water to poison ships’ rats

From the ‘NO to 1080 use in NZ’ FB page

 1950’s America

Contrary to recent articles in the New Zealand media (including one seemingly supported by the Toxicology Dept of the University of Otago), 1080 poison does not become ‘safe’ when dissolved in water. In fact, historically (before it was banned), it was used in the USA as a poisoned water solution (along with DDT, before that was banned too), to kill the rats on cargo ships, in order to reduce the risk of rats’ fleas carrying a plague disease to humans.

In an academic public health journal, an article was published by Dr John H. Hughes on Aug. 11, 1950.
Entitled “1080 (Sodium Fluoroacetate) Poisoning of Rats on Ships” (Public Health Reports (1896-1970), Vol. 65, No. 32, pages 1021-1028) Dr Hughes explained how “the recommended concentration [for killing rats] is one-half ounce or 14 grams of the poison [which was] dissolved in one gallon of water.” The rats would drink from the poisoned-water bait-stations (which were made of paper cups) and die. Thousands of rats were found dead on 379 different ships, during inspections of the ships’ holds that took place between 24 hours to over a week after the poisoned water had been positioned. The dead rats were tested for poisoning to better understand the processes involved and then safely incinerated because the scientists knew of the high risks that the carcasses would contaminate other areas or poison other animals. The poisoned-water bait-stations were removed because “evaporation made the poisoned water more concentrated” – and therefore more lethal for unintended species.

Later, 1080 poison would be banned for use in ships’ holds, partly because, inevitably, many of the poisoned rats were NOT found: the risk of secondary poisoning was deemed to be too high.


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.

 

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

One of the most controversial aspects of the 5G system proposed for NZ is the proposed use of millimetre wave frequencies that cause eye damage research reveals

Research published in 1994 (“Experimental studies on the influence of millimeter radiation on light transmission through the lens” Klin Oczna. 1994 Aug-Sep; 96(8-9):257-9) showed that rats exposed to millimetre wave radiation for only 56 days developed changes in the lens of their eyes. 

The wave length used was 5.6 mm (53 GHz).  The power output was 10 milliwatts/cm2 (100,000,000 microwatts/m2).

The authors, Prost M, Olchowik G, Hautz W, Gaweda R, conclude the abstract for their study by stating that “radiation in millimetre range can induce changes in the lens, predisposing to cataract development.”

READ MORE

http://www.5g.org.nz/2018/07/08/eye-damage-in-rats-exposed-to-millimetre-wave-radiation/

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.”

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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.

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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

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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?

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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

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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