New Pro-1080 Alliance Lacks Sustainability Vision

The new pro-1080 animal toxin alliance led by Forest & Bird and Federated Farmers lacks a vision of a truly sustainable clean green 100% Pure New Zealand according to the Soil & Health Association of New Zealand. Soil & Health campaigns on pesticide reduction and has a use reduction formula for aerial 1080 poison drops that would mean a 50% drop in tonnage used over 4 years. (1)
“The use of a sinking lid or reduction in use formula for aerial toxin use would give New Zealanders and our tourism and export markets alike, the message that New Zealand is serious about trying to retain and build on its clean green image,” said Soil & Health spokesperson Steffan Browning.
Forest & Bird combined with Federated Farmers launched a joint website (2) on Thursday with a stated aim “Establish Pest Control Education Initiative,” and is supported by the Animal Health Board, the Department of Conservation (DOC), Dairy NZ, the Nga Manu Trust, Solid Energy, the Isaac Wildlife Foundation, Meat & Wool New Zealand, PGG Wrightson, Deer Industry New Zealand, and Bush and Beyond.
“The poison alliance’s immediate focus is for the promotion of 1080 use for pest control whether for conservation or agriculture and uses the same incomplete science and research reports that were used for the Environmental Risk Management Authority’s (ERMA) granting of continued use of the extremely inhumane poison,” said Mr Browning.
“Instead of trying to kid the public that widespread poison drops are somehow OK, the poison alliance would be better to join with those opposed to 1080 and push for more funding for implementing more humane and more sustainable alternatives.”
“Soil & Health has a formula for pesticide reduction that requires matching with political commitment and appropriate funding for the biodiversity protection goals that we all share.”
“The whole issue is a funding issue and clutching at dirty toxins by some in the conservation movement is likely to further divide the community, entrench shallow science as adequate and help keep New Zealand’s chance of a more genuine clean green 100% Pure trading advantage in the distance.”
“Toxins are the cheap way out but the true cost to the environment and trading image are not being included. Extra funding for clean alternatives should be seen as an investment.”
“It is disgusting that the new website promotes maintaining New Zealand as clean and green then advocates for large scale poison drops when adequate funding can achieve the same results, while creating enterprise and employment, healthy education opportunities and a genuine clean green result.”
“Teaming with the other heavy environmental polluters does the conservation movement no credit. Conservation needs to clean up and primary producers need to follow. There are alternatives to broad scale toxin use for all players.”
“I have emailed Forest & Bird for an urgent meeting where deep discussion of biodiversity goals and pest control funding needs to occur,” said Mr Browning.
Soil & Health has a vision of an Organic 2020 where biodiversity and agricultural pest control measures are the most humane available and do not rely on the broad scale use of toxins.
(1) As a means of getting consensus within the conservation movement, Soil & Health proposes a sinking lid phase out with a 20% reduction in 1080 tonnage used per year. This would have several positive outcomes as outlined further below.
(1) As a means of getting consensus within the conservation movement Soil & Health proposes a sinking lid phase out with a suggested 20% reduction in 1080 tonnage used per year. This would have several positive outcomes;
1) An immediate reduction in 1080 use
2) An opportunity to secure alternative solutions and build capacity
3) Ability for 1080 users to continue improvements on tonnage reduction per application through more strategic delivery systems
4) Improved prioritisation of areas targeted, with the ability to still use 1080 as a genuine last resort as alternatives are phased in
5) Integration with alternative control methods
6) A phase out date, that could be capped.
Using a 20% annual reduction (sinking lid), for every 100 tonnes currently used nationally, the next year would be 80, then 64, then, 51, 40, 32, 26, 21, 17, 13 …..
This means a 50% reduction in 4 years.
The very important balance to this is that the sinking lid on 1080, must be matched with a rising lid on funding accepting that in many instances, alternative pest control solutions will be more expensive and some further technology development is required.
Efficiencies of scale will reduce technology costs and increase returns from value added activities associated with pest control, however a rising lid for pest control funding and alternatives is important initially.

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