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Independent report by environmental watchdog endorses 1080

Date:  08 June 2011

The Department of Conservation endorses the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s firm support for the continued use of 1080 to protect New Zealand’s threatened wildlife. 

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) has today released a new report evaluating the use of the biodegradable pesticide 1080. The report “Predators, poisons and silent forests” firmly backs the on-going use of the naturally occurring toxin 1080. 

The Commissioner says 1080 is a key weapon in the battle to save New Zealand’s threatened native birds and forests from introduced predators like possum, rats and stoats. 

DOC’s Director General Al Morrison said the report by Parliament’s environmental watchdog represents a careful and considered investigation of all the issues surrounding 1080 and the results are very clear. 

“The Commissioner is unequivocal in her finding that, used carefully, 1080 is both a safe and highly effective weapon in the battle to protect our environment. 

“This is the second independent report within four years to conclusively back the environmental benefits and the safety of aerial 1080 operations.

“Without the protection of pest control methods like 1080, nine out of ten kiwi chicks born in the wild are slaughtered by predators before they reach their first birthday.

“Those kiwi - and the forests they live in - provide the backdrop for our tourism industry and the clean water and quality soils that underpin our agricultural success. Every New Zealander has a stake in making sure they survive and 1080 plays a key role in that battle.”

Al Morrison says there are a lot of unsubstantiated claims and misinformation spread about 1080 but the Commissioner found modern 1080 operations pose very little risk to humans or the environment. 

“Some critics will never be satisfied but it’s time to put arguments aside and get on with the job of protecting the forests and the wildlife that deliver our future.”