"We believe that your terrorist actions are torturing and offering undue acts of cruelty ... you have poisoned our children's future and as such we wish you to cease and desist."

Another letter penned by Syrian citizens following a government-led gas attack from Bashar al-Assad?

Nope. It's a line from the spokesman for anti-1080 group Hikoi of a Poisoned Nation, Alan Gurden, who directed it at the West Coast Regional Council earlier this year.

There's a certain irony in such toxicity from an anti-poisoner frothing at the mouth.


Increasingly it's what we've come to expect from the bonkers 1080 knockers.

As an enthusiast of all things native and endemic in this land I had a reaction to his line when I first read it, as I did to the dozen or so 1080 protesters in Napier recently.

A week or so back they were waving placards outside DoC's office on Marine Parade in response to the department's ongoing pest blitz using the controversial bait.

It wasn't long after protesters in Wellington admitted they may have misled the public during their demonstration outside Parliament, where dead native birds were produced supposedly as evidence.

Later the group admitted most were roadkill, but Gurden said he still "believed" some had died after ingesting 1080 because the dead were sourced from known drop zones.

The bigger picture seems to have eluded this ilk.

Their charlatanic claims, threats against DoC staff, the rarity of bycatch fatalities and most importantly how appreciably effective this poison has been, means their strange agitation presents as the most vacuous and unhinged cause célèbre in modern times.

If a handful of introduced goats, pigs, dogs or deer succumb to the poison (very uncommon) then surely that's the price we pay for introducing them and the other mammalian pests this necessary evil attempts to stamp out for the surety of our natural history and biodiversity.

Driving past the protesters in Napier it dawned that the biggest irony of all was a group of enviros whose histrionics presented a genuine threat to the environment.


NOTE: An earlier version of this opinion piece was accompanied by a photograph of two unamed protesters. Mr Story's opinion is not directed at the protesters directly.