The Department of Conservation (DOC) is committing to the use of 1080 to protect the country's forests and native life in the current 'campaign of misinformation', the government agency said today.
DOC joins OSPRI (TBFree NZ), Federated Farmers, Forest and Bird and WWF-NZ in backing the use of the pesticide, calling 1080 an "effective, safe and valuable tool in the fight to protect New Zealand's forests and native birds, bats, insects and lizards".
In a statement, DOC said, "New Zealand's native wildlife is in crisis. The flocks of native birds that used to fill our forests have been killed and replaced by vast populations of rats, possums, stoats and other introduced predators. This is not the future most New Zealanders want".
DOC says they use a variety of methods, including self-setting traps, and research is currently underway into pest control technologies.
However, they say Forest and Bird volunteer trappers would be unable to cover the "the vast and inaccessible areas that aerial 1080 operations can".
"Biodegradable aerial 1080 is the most effective tool we have for suppressing rats, possums and stoats in one operation over large, difficult to access wilderness areas—where most of our native wildlife lives," DOC said in a statement.
"These organisations use or advocate for 1080 because it is backed by years of rigorous testing, review and research by scientists from Landcare Research, Universities, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), Ministry of Health and the independent Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment."
In 2011, former Parliamentary Commissioner Dr Jan Wright wrote a comprehensive report on 1080 stating that results "are clear that where 1080 is used, our birds and native wildlife start to flourish". The current Parliamentary Commissioner, Dr Simon Upton, stands by Dr Wright's findings and recommendations, DOC wrote.
DOC has urged members of the public who may have concerns over 1080's effect on the environment, water, animal welfare and wild food sources to visit www.1080facts.co.nz.