DOC has been working with Fish and Game New Zealand and the New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers on laboratory trials to assess the impact on trout from eating poisoned mice after pest control operations.
The research involved feeding trout high levels of 1080 in the lab and the preliminary results show that trout take up small amounts of 1080 into their flesh which breaks down over a number of days.
The risk to human health is extremely low. Researchers calculated that at these levels, an 80 kilogram adult would need to eat more than 14 tonnes of trout flesh in one serving, to have a 50 percent chance of receiving a fatal dose.
Further research is needed to more closely simulate the field situation and provide an accurate picture of the actual risks of 1080 in trout, however DOC stands by its position that anglers are at low risk from aerial 1080 pest control operations.
DOC are advising that anglers who do have concerns to take a ‘zero risk’ approach and not eat their catch in catchments where there have been aerial 1080 pest control operations.