A Hastings orchardist whose two dogs ate poison while off-leash says orchards should have to do leaflet drops in semi-rural neighbourhoods when undertaking pest control.
Jo Linton told Hawke's Bay Today she had taken both her fox terrier dogs with her to her Longlands Rd workplace for a year.
Both ate poison last week, which she thinks may have been caused by Pindone-baited carrots recently placed at nearby orchards.
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Linton took her dogs to the vet on Monday when they began vomiting and showing signs of distress.
They were given anti-vomiting injections and pain relief, and the next day both were placed on a drip. They are now recovering.
Linton said while her vet could not confirm if pindone was the poison, she felt it was "highly coincidental" timing.
She is now calling for better neighbourhood-wide notification when the poison is being used in semi-rural areas like Longlands Rd.
Pindone is an anticoagulant poison that was developed in the early 1940s. It is used worldwide to control rodents, although its use for the control of rats and mice has decreased following the introduction of more potent anticoagulants such as Brodifacoum.
There are different types of Pindone bait: carrot and pellet bait can be hand-laid on the ground for rabbits with a user certificate.
Pellets can also be dispensed in bait stations for possums, rats and rabbits.
Linton said there was no legislation to say neighbouring properties needed to be notified if Pindone was being used.
"What I am worried about is that if we go into level 3, there are lots of people out here who take their dogs for a walk around the area, and while there might be signs, not everyone would stop to read," Linton said.
"The neighbours need to be informed - a small A4 sign is not enough.
"There are three orchards close by that have applied Pindone and neighbouring properties have had no indication that it is being used.
"My question is, who controls the poison staying in one area?
"Pukeko will pick up a bait and can semi-fly, rabbits can leave a poisoned area, hawks may pick up carcasses.
"It seems very unsafe to me in a rural setting with multiple properties whether being horticultural or lifestyle."
Rural Pest Services Limited's owner/manager, Jake Bowcock, whose company has recently laid Pindone carrot bait in the area, said legally they were obliged to put up signage, which they did.
"We have signage to let people know coming into that rabbits are being baited," Bowcock said.
"We have had the signs up for 12 months because it is an ongoing rabbit control operation."
Bowcock said verbal notification of a Pindone drop goes out to direct neighbours but Linton's orchard is "so far away" she wasn't notified.
"It seems unreasonable that it [Pindone] has anything to do with it."
He said anyone putting out poison should put up signage, but not everyone does it.
Linton said signage was not "nearly enough".
"I am not throwing the blame on anyone, but the public need to be more aware," she said.
"If I had been aware there was poison bait, I would not have let my dogs wander off."
Hawke's Bay Regional Council's compliance manager Nick Zaman said Pindone was approved for use by the Environmental Protection Authority and needed a controlled substance licence from the Ministry for Primary Industries for its use.
"The regional council does not have a role in approving pindone use on private property," Zaman said.
"In this case we understand the farm had signage on display for anyone entering the property to inform them that baits were being used.
"This is different in terms of putting signage up warning the public for an activity like spraying where there is a potential for spray drift past the property boundary.
"Baits are laid on a property."