New Zealand First is calling for an immediate moratorium on the use of aerial 1080, and alternative strategies to be put in place, ahead of a total ban on the use of the controversial poison.
Spokesperson for Primary Industries Richard Prosser said that research into alternatives to 1080 is not being given sufficient priority while its use is allowed to continue.
“It is a systemic ecotoxin which is banned in most of the rest of the world, and for good reason,” said Mr Prosser.
“New Zealand First wants to see an end to the use of 1080 in New Zealand, but there have to be alternative methods in place to deal with predator pests and TB vectors.
“We have to protect our native birds and our deer and cattle herds, and we believe an immediate moratorium will shake Government agencies out of their comfort zone and give them the required sense of urgency in developing ground based control methods and in seeking an alternative to 1080 where poison does have to be used.”
“There are traps and bait stations which can be rolled out to target particular species right now, over the great majority of the areas where aerial 1080 is applied at present, and they don’t cause by-kill of the very native species they’re intended to protect the way 1080 does.
“A ban on aerial 1080 is inevitable and an immediate moratorium will give the drive towards that goal the impetus it needs,” Mr Prosser said.
“We spend $100 million a year on dropping 1080 from the sky at the moment, and that could pay for an awful lot of boots on the ground and an urgent quest for alternative controls, without any further unnecessary delay,” he said.