29 January 2014
“Nick Smith is bang-on advocating for 1080 to prevent 20 tonnes of native birds becoming pest-tucker every day”, says Robin McNeill, President of Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand. “Dr Smith has done what no other politician has hitherto had the courage to do – he’s stood up for good science and he’s put an often ill-informed, so-called debate to rest”.
Last year, Mr McNeill asked Federated Mountain Clubs’ 17,000 members for their views on 1080. “Nearly every tramper I have talked to, or has written to me on the subject, tells me that they want DOC to get stuck into the predators”, he says. “There is a lot of support for 1080 in spite of the clamour from its few detractors”.
Mr McNeill says that a lot more research effort is needed to more effectively and efficiently apply 1080 aerially. “1080 is proven to be a humane, effective poison, but there is a lot more that the scientists still need to learn to use it as cheaply and thoroughly as possible. My hope for election year is for every political party to pledge more money for DOC research and more 1080. A lot more”.
Mr McNeill laments trampers especially notice the absence of mountain parrots, kea, due to predation. “Things are bad when trampers don’t complain about keas ripping up their tents anymore”, he says. “The battle for the birds has to be won. I just hope it is not too late”.
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