At the start of the month Taupo passed a resolution calling for the abolition of the aerial dropping of 1080 and demanded a sustainable alternative to it for possum control. Now the mayor of Kaikoura, Kevin Heays, has added his voice to the argument by calling for a ban on the toxin in the Kaikoura District.
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Earlier in the year Westland District Council voted to end aerial 1080 operations around drinking water catchments after submissions from opponents of the pesticide but suppored the ground application of the bait.
Mr Heays' call comes just hours before the Animal Health Board begins control of possums in the Hapuku Buffer and Kowhai/Swyncombe area.
According to an article in the Marlborough Express:
"In September, Marlborough District Council approved resource consent for the aerial application of 1080 poison in the Waihopai Valley. Contractor to the Animal Health Board, Valley Pest Control, sought a discharge to water permit for the planned drop over 7000 hectares of Department of Conservation reserve and 4200ha of private land in the lower Waihopai Valley and Waihopai-Spray. Ground drops were planned over a further 18,000ha.
The Animal Health Board programme manager for Canterbury and Marlborough, Ron Walker, said this drop would go ahead as soon as the weather had settled.
The amount of 1080 applied annually varied significantly depending on the need for vector control, he said. The 1080 was used to kill possums and rats, but stoats were also killed through secondary poisoning.
In Kaikoura in 2007/2008, 40 tonnes of 1080 bait (60kg of 1080) was applied to 16,000 hectares at a cost of about $420,000. In 2008/2009 no 1080 was applied in the region, said Mr Walker.
In Marlborough in 2008/2009 28.5 tonnes of 1080 bait (42.75kg of 1080) was applied to 14,200 ha at a cost of about $350,000."
1080 use in NZ: A Youtube Video Playlist