I just saw a video on Facebook that made me totally ashamed to be a human. It was about 1080 drops in New Zealand and the horror that animals are going through as they die. It is heart breaking for the owners of animals that are loved and treasured, but it is just as cruel a death for an animal that was born wild, and does not have a person that cares.
We have been involved with pests- we spent some time trapping and killing possums for their fur. We did it because we needed an income, we needed to eat. I hated having to kill an innocent creature- one whose only crime was being born in the wrong country. Possums are a native of Australia and were bought into New Zealand to establish a fur trade. Unfortunately, like many introduced species, there was insufficient research into the effects of the new animals on the resident population, and once they escaped (or were released by irresponsible people) they have become a disaster for the native birds and flora of New Zealand. The Possums need to go, but 1080 is not the answer. We used cyanide, which is a much more humane death, but needs to be handled very carefully. At least with Cyanide there is an antidote, which 1080 does not have. I am not suggesting using cyanide to kill these pests; I do not have the answer- but I do see that what is being done today is not right either.
Australia also does huge dumps of 1080, to kill their unwanted pests- introduced animals such as foxes, rabbits, pigs and cats, as well as their own native wallabies and dingoes(or the cross bred wild dogs). It is true that these animals are in plague numbers in places and potentially can totally destroy the livelihood of the people in the countryside, but I feel it is long overdue to reassess whether such a drawn-out agonising death for thousands of animals is justified, especially when the problem was caused by man in the first place.
1080 is banned by many countries, and I suggest it is time that New Zealand and Australia catch up with the rest of the world. How can we justify ‘Clean and Green’ with this shameful animal welfare issue still raising its ugly head? It is time to find another way to protect our countries and the agricultural industries, as well as the flora and fauna we love.