7 Jul 2009

Aerial poison drops approved for high country

8:16 pm on 7 July 2009

Consent has been granted for aerial drops of 1080 poison in some of the South Island's most picturesque landscapes, including Aoraki-Mt Cook National Park.

A commissioner appointed by the Canterbury Regional Council has granted the Department of Conservation consent to drop 1080 and pindone over 37,000 hectares of public land in the national park, the Mackenzie Basin and Upper Waitaki Valley.

The council's consent is necessary as the pesticides may enter waterways.

The aerial drops are intended to reduce the number of rabbits in the area, which is rising as the animals develop immunity to rabbit calicivirus.

The consent is for 10 years.

The application attracted 15 submissions, 12 in opposition and three in support.