How much cruelty is acceptable?
Those cursed colonials with their possums, pigs, goats and rabbits.
In Anita Lassman’s letter entitled ‘Cautionary Tale of 1080’ she challenges the use of 1080 as a means of pest control and suggests that those who are advocating its use are arrogant and dismissive of their opponents view point.
She also infers that the 1080 lobby has little care for animal suffering.
Anita’s portrayal of the 1080 lobby and the colonisers as the villains may or may not be true, however, the problem still remains, how to deal with destructive introduced animals.
Once goals are set regarding the levels of control to be achieved, then the appropriate tools must be selected.
Those available at the moment include fencing, traps, culling, poison and biological agents. 1080 may have its place amongst this arsenal but as Anita points out there is animal suffering involved, be it those considered as pests.
I’m sure we would never have our vet euthanise our ageing cat or dog with 1080, yet in the forests in New Zealand every day animals are suffering lingering stressful deaths from consuming this poison.
How much cruelty is acceptable in the cause of conservation?