11 Dec 2008

New possum poison awaiting approval

9:41 am on 11 December 2008

The Animal Health Board is hoping to get clearance by the middle of next year to add another weapon to the armoury used to kill possums.

Research co-ordinator Penny Fairbrother said the Food Safety Authority has registered zinc phosphide paste for use as a poison.

It still has to be approved by the Environmental Risk Management Authority and that will take at least another six months.

Penny Fairbrother said its big advantage is that it will almost eliminate the risk to dogs that scavenge the carcasses of poisoned possums, as it is much less likely to kill dogs than are other toxins.

The poison will not replace 1080 as the main means of reducing possum numbers, in particular, its controversial use in aerial poison drops, as zinc phosphide is only allowed to be used in bait stations at this stage