Federated Farmers says "feral" anti-1080 activists are worse than the pests.
Responding to a rash of incidents involving protesters at loadout sites, including Buller, Federated Farmers president William Rolleston said it was unacceptable for those working to protect the environment, to be made to feel unsafe doing their jobs.
During loadout operations in Buller over the past few weeks Department of Conservation staff were allegedly threatened and abused by anti-1080 protesters during a massive poisoning operation.
Westport conservationist Peter Lusk was arrested yesterday for trespassing during a protest north of Westport on September 24.
Since that date, DOC has laid 20 complaints with police about vandalism and threats to staff about the use of the controversial poison in the Battle for our Birds programme.
Dr Rolleston said Federated Farmers was "deeply concerned" for the safety of DOC staff and contractors, as "so-called activists" continued to ignore the fact that 1080 was working well for New Zealand.
"It's activism out of control. These people, are so-called 'eco-terrorists' but there's no 'eco' involved at all. Just terror."
After opponents of the toxin declared tomorrow "Anti-1080 Day", Federated Farmers proposed making Sunday "Pro-1080 Day".
"At the moment, 1080 is one of the best tools we have for preservation.
"DOC can be trusted to use it in the best possible way and they should be left alone to get on with their jobs," Dr Rolleston said.
- Greymouth Star