20 Feb 2009

Meeting clarifies aerial use of 1080 poison

5:57 am on 20 February 2009

Supporters of the use of the pest poison 1080 say a meeting with the Westland District Council in Hokitika has clarified its aerial use.

The Department of Conservation, Federated Farmers, the Animal Health Board and Forest and Bird raised concerns after the council voted to exclude drinking water catchments from aerial drops.

Advocates of the poison say it's vital to protect cattle from TB infected possums and to preserve nativel wildlife, and it does not pose a risk to drinking water.

DoC's operations manager John Cumberpatch says he was relieved to learn that the council will allow the aerial use of 1080 as long as it is safe.

Federated Farmers spokesperson Basil Meyer told the council that it is demoralising and expensive for farmers to cull cattle infected with TB.

Mr Meyer said many local people are in favour of 1080 but are afraid to speak out for fear of reprisals from anti-1080 groups.