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Stop Aerially Poisoning Animals in New Zealand

Stop Aerially Poisoning Animals in New Zealand


Why this is important

Throughout New Zealand forests and islands, tons of poison baits are dropped from helicopters annually. Their intended targets are possums, rodents and stoats, introduced species said to threaten the native fauna and flora.

The problem with these aerial poisons are many. They are non-selective, killing both intended and unintended species. Baits are toxic to air-breathing organisms- from bees and birds and mammals to soil and essential aquatic invertebrates. Helicopter-broadcast baits also land in waterways and public drinking water. Baits inadvertently land on farms (killing sheep, horses, cattle as well as pets.). Dogs are particularly vulnerable, often killed in their own yard or on public beaches far from where the poison drops occur. Human death and illness has occurred from 1080 poison. A high toll for fighting a pest!

Compound 1080 (sodium fluroacetate, aka sodium monofluoroacetate) is the toxin aerially spread on forests and in close proximity to farms and rural residences. Banned in most countries of the world due to its toxicity to humans, birds and mammals and lack of an antidote. New Zealand is the world's main user of compound 1080 (80 % of the worlds supply). Ever since its beginnings, in the late fifties, 1080 poison use has been fraught with controversy, which is gaining fever pitch since the Parliamentary Commissioner's recommendation for "more 1080, more often." The quantities dropped by the Department of Conservation

(DoC) and TbFree NZ (former Animal Health Board) are rising to a staggering amount of 1300 tonnes of bait on 1,000,000 hectares (2.4 million acres) of native forest in this year alone!

In addition, Brodifacoum is the anticoagulant rat poison packaged in similar 'cereal bait' form and aerially dropped in island eradication projects (as well on peninsulas and inland sanctuaries). This 'super warfarin' as it is often called, also yields high bykill of unintended species (including the iconic New Zealand kiwi). Watch this video for a beautiful view of kiwi birds in their wild habitat on Stewart Island, and the dangers posed by use of brodifacoum.

Brodifacoum is rated by New Zealand governments even less humane than 1080 poison. This graphic video demonstrates what animal death by moderately humane 1080 poisoning is like! Such deaths normally occur 'out of sight' in the privacy of the forests. Accidental drops on farms reveal harsh truth:

How long will the ecosystem cope with this inconsiderate mass poisoning? How can we accept a highly controversial practice that might carry high risks for the future? Wouldn't it be better to invest time and resources to find a sustainable solution?

Please sign and share to stop this irresponsible practice!

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Watch this award-winning documentary gives a deep understanding of 1080 poison and it's effects on the environment:

Poisoning Paradise Blog:

Read: A Critical Look at Aerial-Dropped, Poison-Laced Food in New Zealand's Forest Ecosystems

Posted May 25, 2014
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