Why some people have concerns about 1080
IntroductionDespite extensive 1080 research and strict regulation, a minority of people still have concerns. We address the most common ones here.
Concerns about hunting
We recognise the value of hunting in New Zealand and we work with hunting groups.
We sometimes add deer repellent to 1080 bait to reduce impacts on popular deer-hunting areas. However, there are valid concerns about deer-browsing damage to plant communities.
Concerns about animal rights and welfare
The biggest threat to our wildlife is predation by introduced mammals. Many of our species have already been lost to mammalian predation, some remain only in protected areas, and others are in decline.
We face a choice: unchecked pests and silent forests, or pest control and the survival of our native species.
Conservation work entails pest control. The alternative to pest control is the death of countless individual native animals by the teeth of rats, stoats, possums and other predators to the point of species extinction.
Achieving Predator Free 2050 (PF2050) would mean a massive decrease in the number of pests killed through pest control each year.
There are no practical alternatives to aerial 1080 pest control over vast, remote and rugged terrain. We collaborate with others in researching new technology, such as self-resetting traps and genetic techniques.
Right now, 1080 is needed to protect our native species. If we were to stop and wait for an alternative, progress would be lost, and many native species would face a grim future.
Concerns about the environment
1080 breaks down in the environment and biodegrades naturally. It has never been detected in drinking water and its use is strictly regulated. It doesn't build up over time.
Ground-based pest control over large areas can disturb the environment significantly due to the number of trap or bait lines cut and maintained.
1080 is often our only option to protect native species in New Zeland's large, rugged or remote areas. One 1080 aerial treatment about every 3 years is usually enough, which is much less disruptive for our natural spaces.
Concerns about government transparency
We welcome rigorous, independent assessment of our systems and processes. Since receiving recommendations from the EPA and PCE, we have improved the way we communicate our work to the public:
- Pesticide summaries map – all current pest control operations.
- Monitoring results for native species – regularly updated results of 1080 operations.
- Make an Official Information Act request to enquire about 1080.
- Official Information Act responses – posted online after being deemed of high public interest.