The Department of Conservation firmly rejects recent claims by some anti-1080 critics that 'DOC spends more than $100 million a year on 1080 operations'.
The biodegradable pesticide 1080 is a key weapon in New Zealand's battle to protect our native wildlife and forests from predators like possums, rats and stoats. DOC uses carefully targeted aerial 1080 operations to counter these predators in difficult to reach backcountry areas or where forest seeding events mean an explosion of predator numbers overwhelms trapping or ground bait alternatives.
In 2009/2010 DOC spent approximately $2.8 million on 1080 operations - both aerial and ground based. Spending fluctuates slightly from year to year depending on operational demands, but this figure is consistent with DOC's recent annual spending on 1080 operations.
The 'more than $100 million' claim is wildly inaccurate, both in terms of DOC's own spending and also in terms of New Zealand's overall spending on 1080.
The Animal Health Board - the largest user of 1080 in New Zealand - estimates it spends around $7 million dollars per annum on 1080 operations to protect New Zealand's cattle and deer herds from TB-infected possums.
The total annual spending on 1080 operations nationwide by DOC, AHB, regional councils, private organisations and farmers is estimated to be well under $15 million dollars.
Further information on 1080 and its use in New Zealand can be found in the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's independent evaluation of 1080 Evaluating the use of 1080: Predators, poisons and silent forests.