True situation with 1080

Further to my previous post on the Kiwi Party’s poorly thought out vote-buying policy of banning aerial 1080 drops, there has been an excellent article on this issue in the Waikato Times.

This article points out at length all the problems with 1080, and interviews several people about it, most of whom are opposed to it. But even those opposed to aerial 1080 are not suggesting banning it:

Dean Lugton says children used to come to his farm and he would take them hunting in the bush.

“We couldn’t do it this year because of the aerial drop (at the Rangitoto Range),” he says.

“Everyone understands there are areas that they need to use 1080 in but why use it in areas that are totally able to be hunted on?” he says. “You can hunt the Rangitoto, you can walk over it, I have been for 18-19 years. I don’t think it is an area that needs to be bombed with the amount of 1080 they have been using. It is wrecking recreational hunting.”

Read the whole article. These people have serious concerns about the effects of 1080 in particular places where it is used. But they also understand there are only alternatives in accessible areas.

But Paul Etheredge from Ti Miro, whose property is near to where a aerial drop was carried out last year, says he sees 1080 as a “necessary tool for controlling possums”.

“I have no concerns about the way it is done. I would rather see it done some other way but I can’t see any biological control in the pipeline for quite a while,” Mr Etheredge says.

We need to continue research into alternatives, and encourage alternatives where they exist. Hopefully we can eventually stop aerial application of 1080, once we have found an alternative. But we cannot jump to knee-jerk vote-buying “solutions” on this or any other serious issue. Policy must be practical.

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