Unfortunately, 1080 does not choose which animals it harms. As well as these pests, 1080 also kills native birds like robins, tits, ruru (morepork) and kea. It is also deadly to livestock, deer, dogs and humans. Ban 1080 Party website
Making the anti-1080 party a reality
By Leslie Clague
The Ban1080 Party’s submission to official party status is now being reviewed by the Electoral Commission. More than enough signatures were achieved by the required deadline; they are being checked for validity and detail.
When the checking is complete the Party will be notified and a public consultation phase will begin. Being up and ready for the next election is tight, but the party’s founder, William Wallace of Nelson, thinks the cause needs a seat in Parliament. He states some 43% of New Zealanders say they are opposed to the use of 1080.
Two other existing parties, United Future and New Zealand First, have policies against 1080. Although one can debate the value of a single issue party, it seems to be necessary to get this abominable poison out of New Zealand. A Ban1080 Party can raise public awareness of the horrific harm being caused not only to wildlife, but farm animals and quite possibly humans.
Compelling books on the tragedy of 1080
I read Bill Benfield’s The Third Wave a while back and it convinced me that 1080 is an issue I must take a stand on. Recently I completed Scenic Dream or Silent Nightmare? A Story of New Zealand by Kate Winters. The book is a work of fiction published in 2008. It is based on true stories and is chilling in quite a different way than Benfield’s book. Benfield provided the history and the scientific fact of why New Zealand fell for a 1080 solution to its possum problem. Author Winters gives drama and human insight into the tragedy of 1080 use.
It is impossible for New Zealand to claim itself clean and green and “100% Pure” while spreading 1080. As one cartoonist has joked the only thing green about 1080 is the colour of the pellets. How can New Zealand use 90% of the world’s supply of this poison when most of the world has banned its use?
An inhumane killer but very profitable
I realise that mankind is big on poisoning things to get rid of them, but at least one could be using a poison that kills humanely. Cyanide is an instant killer for example. All animals die slow, agonising, torturous deaths eating 1080: for birds it is 8 to 24 hours; for mammals, they suffer for up to four days. I’m sorry, but I don’t think even a rat or a stoat deserves this sort of ending.
And of course it is not a minor fact that 1080 does kill birds, native and otherwise, and insects that birds feed on.
Getting the attention of the Animal Health Board on this issue, those responsible for ridding bovine Tb from New Zealand, is becoming more and more impossible because aerial spreading of 1080 has become such a lucrative business. Bill Benfield is currently working on a new book which will reveal the detail of the profitability of aerial poisoning, with New Zealand being sold as world experts.
Clean green New Zealand? No way!
As I have noted before, I am heading to Los Angeles in September for a high school class reunion. Already I am being approached via email from old classmates wanting to come and visit New Zealand. We hear it’s so beautiful and natural…. Yeah right.
What do I do or say? New Zealand is a beautiful place and I love it. But I am thoroughly ashamed that my home country by choice is committing almost perpetually this crime against the natural world.
And the forest grows still quieter. You don’t even see many insects. (1080 was developed originally as an insecticide.) Did you know that a carcass of an animal or bird killed by 1080 takes longer to rot because the insecticide kills the maggots that normally help with this process?
Plans to poison the Tasman Wilderness
The next big 1080 drop is to be in the Tasman Wilderness Area in the Eastern Kahurangi in September. Over 700,000 hectares of wilderness will have 1080 drops over the coming months in response to a possible heavy beech seeding over most South Island forests. This planned poisoning was the motivating force for the establishment of the Ban1080 Party.
When Bill Wallace heard of the planned drop in the Tasman Wilderness, he wrote to the Conservator asking for the science and justification of the drop. The answers back indicated virtually no science or knowledge of bird species in the area.
Here are some websites that you may like to look at:
- And the party site which Roger Childs included in his 1080 article: http://ban1080.co.nz.
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