Date: 04 November 2014
Final research results released today confirm an earlier assessment that trout caught in areas following 1080 pest control do not pose a health risk to anglers.
DOC asked independent researchers at the Cawthron Institute to investigate concerns raised earlier this year by some anglers that trout eating mice containing 1080 could put humans at risk.
The Cawthron Institute research involved force feeding trout in laboratory tanks high doses of 1080 gel to assess their uptake and breakdown of the toxin.
Preliminary findings released in September indicated the force-fed laboratory trout did take up small amounts of 1080 into their flesh over one to two days. The trout showed no ill effects from the toxin, which broke down over time.
DOC referred these preliminary findings to the Ministry for Primary Industry (MPI) for food safety evaluation.
MPI’s assessment, released last month, indicated that the peak levels of 1080 temporarily recorded in the force-fed laboratory trout fell well short of breaching internationally accepted standards for human health.
DOC Deputy Director-General Science and Capability Felicity Lawrence says the Cawthron Institute’s final report confirms the preliminary research results.
Felicity Lawrence says the laboratory-based research involved trout force fed levels of 1080 equivalent to a trout eating almost its own body weight in poisoned mice.
“As the report concludes, this extreme high dosage is not likely to occur in the wild and it is important to note, that even at this laboratory dose rate, the 1080 in the trout did not pose a threat to humans.”
“This research by independent scientists, coupled with the MPI assessment, means anglers can be confident that trout caught in areas following 1080 pest control operations do not pose a threat to their health.”
Felicity Lawrence says DOC will be making the research report available on its website and will continue to provide detailed information about its up-coming 1080 operations.
Fiona Oliphant, Media Advisor
Phone: +64 3 371 3743 or +64 27 470 1378