Poison 'indiscriminate killer'

Using 1080 poison is the most inhumane means of killing anything. Once an animal goes down after ingesting 1080 it can take anything from hours to days for it to die. Thrashing around in its own excrement as it has multiple seizures until death.

The poison is an indiscriminate killer and kills non-target species.

Stoats, weasels and ferrets don't eat 1080 but a few may die from secondary poisoning as do many insects, birds and animals as they fossick in the decaying litter of the dead. Rivers, streams and drains are contaminated with 1080 pellets and dead and dying animals. While GPS is used, there are still many untargeted areas that get poisoned.

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We are told that aerial spreading of 1080 is only done in areas that are inaccessible. This is not true as it is dropped either side of state highways and roads all over New Zealand.

Supervision and monitoring are working well when we see a DOC contractor dumping 1080 poison on Stewart Island. This was only brought to light by a former employee of the contractor speaking out. Where was the monitoring?

I, along with many thousands of Kiwis, firmly believe that the continued aerial dumping of this toxin all over our beautiful country is going to have a detrimental impact on the future health of every living thing, us included.

We were led to believe that DDT and 245T were safe and caused no health problems, now their use is banned. Even glyphosate, commonly known as Roundup, which most people have used, is under scrutiny and there has been damages awarded in the US for it supposedly causing cancer.
Gary Gleeson
Wanganui
Misapplication of toxin
I agree with FR Foster (letter, November 2) that we need facts and transparency on 1080 poisoning, but his comments about precise sowing of 1080 baits need challenging.

The EPA annual reports show misapplications of 1080 in more than a third of poisoning operations in 2011 and 2016. The 2011 annual report states that all but one of the operator breaches (11 out of 12) involved aircraft spilling baits outside of the operational area. Every single year that annual reports have been provided by the EPA, pilots have been reported flying through safe zones, operators have spilled baits outside operational areas, and livestock, pets and wildlife have been poisoned.

The worst case of misapplication that I've found involved the deaths of 252 sheep and lambs on one farm in Ratanui and a confidential compensation agreement.

My most recent interview with a farmer from Waimiha revealed the EPA report of his incident did not disclose that the pilot flew through a safe zone and dropped 1080 bait on his sheep. These incident reports are "self-reported" by the contractor.

It appears that GPS technology isn't the only thing we need to guarantee safe application of toxins like 1080 and to ensure that our communities are aware of the risks to people, pets, livestock and wildlife.

Mr Foster also commented that most native birds don't eat 1080 baits. I refer you to the Spurr and Powlesland lists of birds known to eat 1080 or that have been killed by 1080 (article title "Impacts of aerial application of 1080 on non-target native fauna"). Pay attention to the last column in the table that refers to "risk of non-recovery".

There has never been any doubt that large numbers of bird species are at risk from toxins such as 1080 and anticoagulants. The risks should never be understated.
Kathy White
Waikato Regional councillor and chair of the Environmental and Services Performance Committee, Taupo
Minerals in soil
John Archer infers I don't know what I am talking about as to Rotorua's soil.

He says minerals changed the soil and he is partly right as it was deficient in minerals that are essential to ruminant animals, but it was the ruminant animals that produced the soil.

Fifty-five years ago my mate won a ballot farm there. The government had broken it in and when it had got to a commercial farming stage they sold it off via a ballot system.

A few of us went up and did a lot of fencing. The soil was coke on sand with huge lumps of pumice underneath. At that stage the soil was not much and was mainly planted with lucerne, and it was some years before grass was really successful.

I take 80 colloidal minerals a day. Minerals are very good for animals and humans - ask a vet where we would be without minerals in our animals' diet.

If we all took 80 minerals a day, we would have way less cancer and other health problems.
GR Scown
Whanganui

Twisted rhetoric
Two articles in today's Chronicle, Saturday November 3: An opinion on the American election and "fake news" and "Trump deploys racial wedges", are merely more of the same old thing. Then I turned on the TV and there was ex President Obama spouting more twisted rhetoric.

I don't think that I am naive, prejudiced, or stupid. But President Trump won the White House under that much-maligned constitution. He has so far survived running the gauntlet engineered by the Democrats (so called), and the blatant attempted character crucifixions.

All of the alternatives that I have seen so far would be total disasters for America and indeed the world. Obama and the Clintons had their chances and failed to achieve anything near what President Trump has done for his so-called "Basket of deplorables". So I await with great interest to see the unfolding these historical events which will probably be debated long into the future.
Potonga Neilson
Castlecliff