What’s Up DoC? 3: Deer Kill

A 1080 poison operation targeting possum on New Zealand’s largest farm has angered hunters who fear it’s needlessly killed hundreds of red deer. The Marlborough Express

Time to get real over 1080 and Tb

By Roger Childs

1080 was originally developed as an insecticide and is now banned in most of the World. But not in clean green New Zealand which use 80%+ of the planet’s supply. Sodium fluoroacetate  kills anything that breathes, and the deaths of animals, birds, insects, dogs and humans is often long and painful.

The October drop on Molesworth Station was ostensibly to kill possums which spread Tb to cattle. BUT THEY DON’T.

New Zealand is Tb free according to the world standard, so organisations like TBfree New Zealand and OSPRI (Operational Solutions for Primary Industries), have no reason to exist.

The highly paid staff should be set loose on the labour market to get real jobs.

OSPRI gets the green light to do damage

Molesworth: an unnecessary and costly poisoning operation

The Department of Conservation (DoC) owns the famous 180,000 hectare Molesworth Station and allows Ospri to carry out “pest control” operations.

Ospri is trying to eradicate bovine Tb in possums by 2040. But the country is already Tb free. Testing over the last ten years has shown that, except in extremely rare cases, possums do not carry Tb. The former cabinet minister with responsibility for agriculture, and himself a farmer, should know:

over a ten year period, 124,000 autopsied possums showed an incidence of 0.04 per cent while 9830 possums autopsied last year showed zero incidence. Nathan Guy, Minister of Primary Industries, speaking in parliament in 2016 about levels of tuberculosis in possums

Probably very few in the area

Ospri claimed that in Molesworth the justification for possum control was compelling and also carried significant conservation benefits. No evidence for these conclusions was provided.

Local hunter, Tony Orman, who knows the area well, says:  I believe possum numbers out there are very light. The very nature of the Molesworth terrain tells you there’s not going to be many possums out there. There’s no shelter for them.

Ospri went ahead in late October regardless, and poisoned 61,200ha with 1080.

Indiscriminate killing of the wildlife

Bloody disgusting to think that a prime red deer herd with the trophy potential I’ve seen first hand will be all but wiped out. Marlborough hunter

The Marlborough branch of the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association (NZDA) is angry. There was little consultation and the outcome has been disastrous.

They are collating data on the kill through a comprehensive aerial survey. However, it has already been reported that over 340 dead red deer carcasses have been spotted from a plane flying over part of the poisoned area, as well as significant numbers of dead goats and pigs.

How about possums? Ospri has not produced any figures.

A number of people have commented on the fact that hunters could have gone into the area to  harvest the deer resource before the 1080 helicopters hit the skies.

However, many are opposed to 1080 being used at all. The poison is no respecter of particular species: if it breathes, 1080 will kill it.

With a new government in power, the time has come for a cabinet decision to end the poisoning of our land and use the money saved on worthwhile ventures.