This summer the Chronicle is bringing you another look at some of the best content of 2019. This story originally ran on May 1, 2019
About 100 anti-1080 campaigners have been moving around several Whanganui organisations as part of a planned protest over the use of the poison for pest control.
The gathering was part of a nationwide protest and Whanganui was the rallying point for protesters from around the North Island.
The turnout was much lower than the 800 organisers had said would be there when protesters gathered on Wednesday morning outside the Orillion plant, which belongs to State-owned enterprise Animal Control Products (ACP), where the 1080 pellets are processed.
The group then moved on to the Department of Conservation (Doc), the Whanganui District Council and the Whanganui Chronicle.
Sue Grey is a lawyer who acts for 1080-opponents and will be in the Wellington High Court this week acting for a Mapara couple whose cattle died of suspected poisoning after an aerial drop in September.
"There is such a lot of by-kill from 1080," she said.
"It is not working the way it should be and everything is out of kilter in the ecosystems where it is used."
But Doc's director of the biodiversity threats unit, Amber Bill, said aerial 1080 is the only toxin that can help to reduce three pests simultaneously.
"Possums directly, rats directly and stoats as a by-kill from scavenging dead rat carcasses," she said.
"When rat populations are targeted using 1080, stoat populations drop too."
Bill said stringent efforts are made to contact everyone on the boundaries or within a certain range of each operation directly, in person or by mail.
"People have opportunities to be involved in discussions about operations which are widely advertised in public notices, online and in the mail as part of the requirement.
"Dogs are highly susceptible to 1080 poisoning. They should not be anywhere near a pest control operation."
Meanwhile, Doc's principle public advisor, Herb Christophers, said there is ongoing research to find a viable alternative to 1080 poison.
"For 365 days of every year native species are fighting for survival and around once every three years 1080 is used to control predators in their habitat."
Meanwhile, a woman from Rotorua among the protesters said she lost her beloved dog after he was exposed to 1080 pellets.
The dog was rushed to the vet when he showed signs of being poisoned but had to be euthanised.
"I never thought about 1080 before but now I've seen how lethal it is I just don't think it should be used."
Waikato regional councillor Kathy White said she was in Whanganui as an independent protester but also acting on behalf of her constituents.
"There have been a lot of pet and livestock poisonings in the Waikato and they are not all reported to the EPA (Environmental Protection Authority).
"That means the Government does not have all the information they need to make decisions about the safety of 1080 use."
Local protester Tim Bensemen of NZ Farmers Against 1080 Poison said farmers who encourage 1080 use around their properties are being very short-sighted.
"They complain if someone steals their quad bike or farm equipment but they don't see what they are taking from others.
"They are endangering everyone else's livelihoods."
A criticism levelled at 1080 protesters is that they are not providing viable alternatives for 1080 pest control.
When questioned about other options protesters said trapping programmes have worked well in some locations.
"Intensive trapping would work far better - 1080 does not work on stoats so their numbers are increasing and everything is badly out of kilter."
About 30 of the protesters entered the Whanganui Chronicle building on Wednesday afternoon where they remained for about 10 minutes.