Date: 04 October 2016
Over the past few weeks there have been a number of incidents where individuals expressing anti-1080 views have threatened and abused DOC staff and their families in several communities.
There have been attempts to distrupt aerial 1080 pest control operations on the West Coast and in Fiordland, as well as an incident of a vehicle being damaged on private property and vandalism to DOC signs.
DOC Director-General Lou Sanson says DOC takes the intimidation of staff very seriously and each incident has been reported to the police.
“People have a right to lawful protest but its deplorable that our staff and contractors are being subject to abuse and threats for doing their jobs to protect our precious wildlife and forests.”
“We will not tolerate any threats or actions that put the safety of our staff or contractors at risk and all incidents will be reported to the police.”
“We have put measures in place to ensure that pest control operations are not disrupted.”
Lou Sanson says the protests would not prevent DOC from completing its Battle for our Birds programme to protect vulnerable native species like kiwi, kākā, kea and whio from predators.
“Scientific monitoring has clearly shown that our vulnerable birds and bats benefit from aerial 1080 pest control of rats, stoats and possums with better breeding success and more offspring.”
This year’s Battle for our Birds programme will protect our most at-risk populations of birds and native forests over about 820,000 hectares using aerial 1080 and 70,000 hectares using ground-based methods such as traps.
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