1080 is the common name of a highly toxic pesticide called Sodium fluoroacetate. This is its molecular formula:
Lawrence residents are concerned that a decision to drop 1080 poison on a Clutha District forestry block had been “done behind closed doors”.
The issue came up at a Lawrence-Tuapeka Community Board meeting on Wednesday in relation to an information session to be held at Lawrence on Thursday about an upcoming bovine tuberculosis – TB control programme in the area.
This would be hosted by Ospri, the company undertaking planned aerial possum control operations at Mt Allan, Berwick and Glendhu, in a forested area between Waihola and Dunedin.
At the board meeting, member Garry McCorkindale expressed surprise that the board had not been informed of the proposed sodium fluoroacetate – 1080 drops, or about the information session.
Members Rochelle Langley and Liz Forbes passed on feedback from the wider community that the decision was contentious because people felt it had been “done behind closed doors”.
Concerns included proximity of 1080 drops to towns and waterways, along with potential danger to dogs from bait.
Clutha District Group Manager Corporate Services Jules Witt said to his knowledge, there had been other occasions when the community board had not been notified of poisoning operations. N
Normally the council would hear from the contractor, if there were exclusions zones, such as waterways, he said.
Ospri hosted information evenings in Outram and Lawrence early March for those interested in learning more about the 2016 Otago bovine TB control programme.
Ospri Southern South Island programme manager Brent Rohloff said it was clear from those sessions that while some people were satisfied with the answers they received, others were clearly unhappy.
“Which is why we have responded with holding a second meeting, to give people a chance to have a say.”
The outcome of Thursday’s meeting might have some impact on how the company goes about some aspects of the operation, he said.
The company’s website says that this year’s programme will focus on both ferret surveys and possum control.
The possum control work would be a combination of ground control using methods such as trapping and ground laid toxins, and a number of 1080 aerial baiting operations.
It also says that these sessions will give the public a chance to consult with Ospri staff, TBfree committee members and contractor staff.
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