The total ecosystem should be the top priority in assessing the damage by 1080 poison aerial drops says the Sporting Hunters Outdoor Trust.
Laurie Collin, a spokesman was responding to news that the wild deer by-kill from a 2017 poison drop on Marlborough’s Molesworth Station had resulted in numerous deer killed.
The Marlborough Branch of the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association’s just-released report has confirmed an OSPRI 1080 poison drop in late 2017 on Molesworth station in Marlborough killed numerous deer. The report covered 75 square kilometres of the iconic high country station and strongly suggested the by-kill of deer was high, said Marlborough NZDA treasurer Wayne Smith.
However Laurie Collins, spokesman for the Sporting Hunters Outdoor Trust said while the Marlborough NZ Deerstalkers Association should be complimented on releasing the Molesworth 1080 deer kill report that confirmed “hunters worst fears of a high by-kill” of animals, there was the bigger ecological picture to be examined.
“Sure, we’re concerned and angry at the cruel killing if deer but of greatest concern is the poisoning of invertebrates and micro-organisms in the earth, eventually impacting damagingly on the whole ecosystem. Never admitted by DOC is that 1080 was first developed about 1927 as an insecticide,” he said.
Bird-life was affected either directly such as tomtits and robins, or by secondary poisoning of predator and scavenger birds much as keas, falcons, and moreporks. The destruction of quail and Himalyan chukor game birds should have Fish and Game protesting – instead of silence, he said.
Laurie Collins early in his work years, was involved in government trials of 1080 in the late 1950s on fallow deer in the Greenstone and Caples Valley near Lake Wakatipu. Subsequently in Marlborough he worked on pest management in the Awatere valley.
“I strongly suspect OSPRI sanctioned by DOC, are covertly deliberately targeting deer,” he said.
Laurie Collins urged Marlborough NZDA to ask searching questions about the justification for 1080 on Molesworth. OSPRI aerially dropped the poison to kill possums which OSPRI claimed carried bovine Tb. However, Laurie Collins said In 2016 Agriculture Minister Nathan Guy told Parliament of 9830 possums autopsied not one had Tb.
“Researcher and author, the late Bill Benfield said NZ was greatly below World Heath standards for being bovine Tb free. Why does OSPRI use an antiquated skin test with a 25% error rate when far more accurate testing is available?” he said.
With such a high error rate, infected animals, termed ”sleepers” remained undetected in a cattle herd to infect other animals with low immune systems.
“As such continuing Tb outbreaks are inevitable thus to keep OSPRi’s jobs going,” added Laurie Collins.