Scapegoating Possums: Iffy Science, Demonizing Psychology, and Fiery Words of War ` Update on 1080

We should never close the doors on our options. There is always an alternative, especially when serious ethical questions remain silenced or inadequately addressed.

Scapegoating Possums: Science, Psychology, and Words of War

New Zealand's "war on wildlife" is based on iffy science and misleading hype.
Posted Jul 11, 2017
The recent news coverage of baby possums being drowned at Drury School as part of a fundraiser has sparked national and international condemnation on the grounds of animal cruelty (for more discussion on this please see "Long-Term Effects of Violence Toward Animals by Youngsters, "Youngsters Encouraged to Kill Possum Joeys in New Zealand," "Saving wildlife without drowning possums," and links therein). It has also brought issues associated with the treatment of possums in New Zealand into public debate along with discussions of the use of the horrific poison 1080 and the iffy science behind "killing in the name of conservation." The messy innards of these issues have been split open and spilled out for the world to see. To gain a more "local" perspective on what's happening in New Zealand, I am most fortunate to have been able to collaborate with New Zealander, Lynley Tulloch, on this essay.


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Earlier this year I saw a short presentation from a scientist who together with his scientist-son, is working on a method whereby the male possum's ability to pass on female sperm was "switched-off" meaning over a period of time, only males would remain and eventually the population would die off, or be reduced as to have negligible impact. I'm not saying in any way, this is the best alternative and my judgement is reserved due to GMO reasons. However, the point is, this scientist has tried and tried to get funding or help from the government and has been knocked back each time. Makes you wonder if they even 'want' an alternative to 1080.

Thanks for the blog Graeme. 

 Firstly I would like to say I think 1080 should be banned due to the extreme toxicity and the fact secondary poisoning kills far more than the target species and kills with a slow and cruel painful  death. They definitely don't want an alternative to 1080. The government makes 1080 and sells it to itself so the actual cost of the poison is much less than they report as the cost to DOC is offset by the profit they make on selling it to themselves. I have a licence to use 1080 which I obtained at the same time as my licence for cyanide (which kills in seconds and doesn't contaminate the environment or lead to secondary poisoning if something else eats the carcass.) The extra endorsement didn't cost any more so while I wont ever use 1080 it was interesting to hear from DOC that they definitely would prefer to kill ALL introduced species in their forests including deer, pigs, goats, thar, chamois, sheep, cattle, dogs, cats, rats, stoats, weasels, ferrets and of course possums and given that agenda,1080 IS the perfect poison to meet their requirements as in truth DOC don't just want to kill possums, they want all animals gone! 


Yes Saru

It all about big money killing  the food from the forest

about 5 years ago the Govt ,Doc ,TB free, funded by Govt did a drop from Hokitika to Whataroa .Choppers every where

Cost 4.6 million the general public didn't see a cent of it.

Next month they were down Southland doing it all over again then somewhere else.

No they don't want an alternative i am sure of that.

When i was a kid you could get up to $35 for a good skin and the numbers were kept down ,there were hunters way in the back blocks making good money.

As for the lie that possums are giving the cattle Tb it is the other way around. A possum will only travel to a new area when the other have been killed out.

Possum fur now is up to $110 a kilo ,15 to 20 possums.

2 weeks ago Doc did a drop  south of Haast . i wasn't there to see the shambles but my 2 of my friends were.

 They now need no resource consent...changed the rule's to suit and have only to give 24 hours notice change the rule to suit and are now allowed to drop in the water ways changed the rules to suit

The Westland District Council stipulated none in the water way down there but  they didn't give a toss .

the staff spent the next day picking pellets out of the riverbed , my friend has the video.

Another friend has spent 10 years in the courts with over a hundred affidavits against 1080

The last eight fighting court cost's . see the plan ..keep him out of the environment court

I am sure it would a better way to put a tally  but then the people would have an income.

One more thing the govt has classed all introduced animals as feral pest so they are allowed to poison them.

My other friends kids had there two farm dogs and a cat poisoned and had to listen to the wild goats dying in agony.

6 out of 10 radio tagged keas died of 1080 poisoning in the drop between Fox Glacier and Franz Josef.

2 years they did it again in the Okarito forest 6 out of 10 keas

 I think the only answer is the Maori so that is the plan these days to get them united 

The whole 1080 issue is a deadly scam and we all need to pull our weight other wise the future kids will ask,

{what did we do to try and stop them}


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