SPCA criticised over article supporting 1080 ban

Photo: RNZ.

The SPCA has come under fire for saying it wants a ban on the use of 1080 poison.

In an article published on its website, the animal rights group said "humane methods" should be used to kill pests.

"We would like to see a ban on the use of poisons such as 1080, because these substances cause such intense and prolonged suffering to animals that we believe their use can never be justified," the article said.

The SPCA says it did not regard one species as being more important than another.

"We do recognise that there is a concern regarding the impact of so-called 'pest' animals. Sometimes it is necessary to capture certain animals or manage populations of species for various reasons, including biodiversity, conservation, and sustainability," it said.

It went on to advise people on what they could do to get 1080 banned.

The publicity drew criticism from environmental group Forest & Bird, with chief executive Kevin Hague saying his organisation was very disappointed.

"What it shows is they have a level of naivety around what's required to protect our native animals and birds," he says.

Kevin says proposed alternatives such as trapping would not work as effectively as 1080.

It is not the first time the SPCA has spoken out against the use of poison as pest control. In September, the animal welfare organisation said it was against the widespread use of toxins.

The SPCA has been approached for comment.


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Posted on 11-01-2019 10:10 | By Bay Citizen

Fair point, but that is much the same advice for the sensible handling and usage of many chemicals which are not approved or designed for use in an aquatic environment. For example, the safety sheet for "Morning Fresh" dishwashing liquid says the same thing about being "harmful to aquatic organisms" and "do not allow product to come in contact with surface waters".


Posted on 11-01-2019 08:50 | By Mein Fuhrer

You mention "The idea that it could contaminate water sources is easily disproved nonsense because of the dilution", yet the manufacturers clearly state quite the opposite "Harmful to aquatic organisms." "Take all practicable steps to manage any harmful effects of a spillage including preventing baits from accidentally entering streams or waterways."

@overit and morepork

Posted on 10-01-2019 09:01 | By Bay Citizen

The irony is that despite all the controversy about 1080 it is NOT a persistent toxin and doesn’t bioaccumulate. The idea that it could contaminate water sources is easily disproved nonsense because of the dilution. I’d be more worried about other toxins commonly used by households such as brodifacoum which has a far longer half-life, is lethal to a wider range of species and is highly cumulative. As to trapping, yes it can be effective, but only over small or urban areas. Over large areas of rugged terrain it simply isn’t feasible as anyone who has done predator control work will testify.


Posted on 09-01-2019 14:30 | By overit

1080 has been banned overseas for a long, long time. Why? Its being spread about and I am very afraid its going to end up in the food chain and water. Plus its very cruel, a long, painful death.

@Bay Citizen

Posted on 09-01-2019 10:08 | By morepork

The problem with poisons is that they contaminate the environment for a VERY long time, and they are indiscriminate. It isn’t true that there is no effective alternative and it isn’t true that the SPCA offered no solutions. Certainly, trapping may not be as effective as poison, but if you set enough traps you can control vermin, and traps can be designed to be more selective. It was us, as humans, who upset the delicate Ecological balance in the first place; it is down to us to try and repair that damage, and poisoning just makes it worse. I agree with you on the "equality of species" statement; that one was not thought through... All life is precious, but there are species that we simply have to control.

Stupid and wrong-headed arguments from SPCA

Posted on 09-01-2019 08:47 | By Bay Citizen

So the SPCA does not believe in controlling pests with poisons at all? This is bonkers. There is no effective alternative to poisons, so they are not offering any solutions, whilst naming 1080 in particular is just a cheap attempt at inflaming the argument. Further, the quote that suggests that the SPCA "did not regard one species as being more important than another" is a specious argument that leads to all sorts of inconsistent and ridiculous conclusions. For example, why then do they worm and de-flea their dogs and cats for rehoming? Are such parasites less important species after all?

To kill one life for another

Posted on 08-01-2019 23:15 | By BushBash

SPCA is doing the right thing well done lets back the ban of the poison, why kill off one race to save another that will die out anyway.

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