Date: 27 September 2018
Waikato Regional Council will undertake the review.
Toxicology results on two cattle which died on a neighbouring property confirmed they had ingested fluoroacetate (1080) after they broke through a fence to get into the operational area.
Acting Director General Mervyn English said it is important to undertake this rigorous review to ensure the public can have confidence in the professional discipline the Department brings to its operations.
Initial investigations of the site, permissions and communications documents and helicopter flight data indicated the Department had undertaken the operation as planned and cattle did not have access to 1080 bait on the farmers’ paddocks.
A pre-flight of the operational boundary was conducted a fortnight before and staff noted stock in the neighbouring bush block and advised the farmer to remove the stock.
The farmers later confirmed these stock had been removed. A post operational inspection showed that a gate had been pushed over.
Boundaries for pest control operations are collaboratively defined with adjoining landowners and neighbours.
During the consultation period landowners are provided information packs. DOC obtains written permission from the landowner for the operation to include part of their land. DOC also gets written assurance from the land owner that they understand the details of the operation and areas concerned. The landowner also guarantees their stock will be behind secure fences.
“Conducting operational reviews is standard practice after every pest control operation, however, in this case Mr English has asked for an additional independent review by the Waikato Regional Council as the public must have confidence in our operational expertise,” Mr English said.
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