August 15th 2011 ~ New Zealand plans to poison its wildlife bTB reservoir with a new poison, zinc phosphide
Zinc phosphide would not be applied aerially. It would not be a replacement for the controversial 1080. (The poison 1080, still not banned in Australia and New Zealand causes poisoned animals a slow and very nasty death.)
We read at /www.stuff.co.nz that the new poison would be available in 3 or 4 months "The encapsulation and bait making would be done in Auckland, with the zinc phosphide chemical coming from either China or India. "DOC would first look at its cost-effectiveness and whether it was a humane poison and would need to trial the poison."
September 7th 2011 ~" the belligerent bureaucratic juggernaut that poisons because it can.." New Zealand
Even farmers are disgusted at the aerial drop of the poison 1080 over the NZ forests of North & South Okarito. As we have said below, this poison, designed to kill wild carriers of bTB, is indiscriminate and very unpleasant indeed. See New Zealand's Farmers Against Ten Eighty
September 13th 2011 ~ New Zealand: " What was the purpose of the aerial toxin drop?" asks the Kiwi Party
As we report below, New Zealand's use of the controversial poison 1080 to try to solve its bTB problem, causes considerably more misery than it solves. Zealand's Kiwi Party has issued a press release following the news of the death of 7 radio-tracked keas:
"... an explanation and apology from the Minister of Conservation Kate Wilkinson is called for.....Although a supposed kea repellent was used, any person should realise keas are highly inquisitive parrots which, repellent or no repellent, are almost certain to investigate any poison bait.bTB carrying possums are officially the intended target - but since the researchers in recent vaccine trials (see below) expressed themselves "confident that possums can be successfully orally vaccinated without having to capture them", the use of 1080 seems even more undesirable. How slowly humane alternatives seem to be accepted by officialdom everywhere. See also abstract at www.curehunter.com
Questions surround the whole use of 1080. What was the purpose of the aerial toxin drop? If it was aimed at the possum, is there actually a possum problem? Reports from the West Coast indicate low numbers, verified by an almost complete lack of road kills. If it's bovine TB, that is the Animal Health Board's responsibility not DOC's. In any case the TB issue also demands scrutiny since the TB skin test used on cattle has a 20 percent error rate which in essence means one in 10 cattle with TB is not detected by the test..." Read in full
".. Results from trials in a number of animal species indicate that oral BCG vaccination can reduce disease severity following experimental challenge with Mycobacterium bovis and in a recent field trial, oral BCG vaccination was shown to prevent infection of wild possums following natural exposure to M. bovis. ... recent studies in cattle and wildlife have demonstrated the practicality and effectiveness of vaccinating animals against tuberculosis and provide much impetus for future use of vaccines."In the UK, the argument in favour of culling infected badgers in hotspots carries a lot of weight since the problems with vaccines (and the EU trade rules) have seemed so intractable and bovines in whom infection is not certain are being killed in their thousands. But even here, surely no one would allow the indiscrimate killing of wildlife with a particularly unpleasant poison? Informed comments welcome.