13 Aug 2011

EPA approves new possum poison

4:06 pm on 13 August 2011

The Environmental Protection Authority has approved the importation and manufacture of a new poison for possum and rodent control.

Zinc phosphide has been developed as an alternative to 1080 and other poisons used for vertebrate pest control.

It is designed for ground control operations and will not be used in aerial drops.

The poison has to meet further regulatory requirements before being registered, so it will be three to four months at the earliest before it is available for use in the field.

The development of the poison involved two companies, Pest Tech and Connovation, and Lincoln University.

Connovation research director Dr Charlie Eason says it will be used initially in a paste form, specifically for possum control. A solid bait is being developed for use against rodents.

He says a big advantage of zinc phospide is that it has a much lower risk of secondary poisoning than some other poisons, such as 1080 and brodifacoum.

The Environmental Protection Authority has imposed strict conditions including limiting the use of zinc phospide to trained and licensed operators.