A pest worker who worked for Environment Waikato for two years, has termed 1080 poison as cruel and destructive of bird life. Kiwi Environmentalist
Former poison worker condemns 1080
By Graeme Merekara Shelford
I worked with Environment Waikato for two years. I did trapping, 1080 and also aerial drops, ignorant to the damage I was helping to cause.
It was work – outside and in the bush – riding around all day setting traps and laying carrots. Easy.
The amount of times we went onto properties, poisoning and trapping fence lines, and the arguments my boss went through as we knocked on the doors of farmers… they looked at us and treated us like we were there to take their farms.
The amount of times I sat and listened to people telling me 1080 doesn’t kill anything but possums…
Seeing the devastation first hand
Being a hunter and hearing of all the dogs getting killed from 1080 I had suspicions, but it wasn’t until one day when I went back to put fresh poison in pots that I got to see it firsthand.
A huge green hill that we used to park on had what looked like plough marks on it. I got in the gate and looked up and it was where the longest-serving dude on our team had left a pot too close to the fence.
The cows got it and they ran up and down that hill in a crazy fit, tearing up half the hill. Six were dead, blood coming out of their noses and ears, rabid looking froth, eyes popped out, UGLY !
Or the time we went and poisoned a farm block… in the middle of this farm there was a block of native bush, birds deafening you with their songs of life. We pre-baited it and two weeks later poisoned it.
I went back to load fresh poison and it wasn’t hard to notice the eerie silence – no birds at all.
I’d had enough
That was enough for me. I know we could have trapped that block, and a lot of the other blocks.
I’m not proud. It makes me sick just thinking about the amount of wildlife I helped to kill.
Keep up the good work anti-1080 people. Keep NZ green, and not that toxic green either !
(Graeme now lives in Australia)