In­de­pen­dent re­view of 1080 work

CHB Mail - - News -

The Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion has ini­ti­ated an in­de­pen­dent re­view of a 1080 drop in which cows were killed.

DOC says it is tak­ing the “ex­tra­or­di­nary step” to pro­vide pub­lic con­fi­dence in its op­er­a­tions.

Eight cows were found dead on a King Coun­try farm fol­low­ing DOC’s Ma­para 1080 he­li­copter drop on pri­vate and con­ser­va­tion land on Septem­ber 6.

Tox­i­col­ogy re­sults on two cows con­firmed they had in­gested flu­o­roac­etate (1080), after they broke through a fence to get into the op­er­a­tional area.

DOC said ini­tial in­ves­ti­ga­tions of the site, per­mis­sions and com­mu­ni­ca­tions doc­u­ments and he­li­copter flight data in­di­cated DOC had un­der­taken the op­er­a­tion as planned and cat­tle did not have ac­cess to 1080 bait on the farm­ers’ pad­docks.

A pre-flight of the op­er­a­tional bound­ary was con­ducted a fort­night be­fore and staff noted stock in the neigh­bour­ing bush block and ad­vised farm­ers Paula and Mark Stone to re­move them.

The farm­ers con­firmed th­ese stock had been re­moved, how­ever a post-op­er­a­tional in­spec­tion showed a gate had been pushed over, DoC said.

Paula and Mark Stone said com­mu­ni­ca­tion about the op­er­a­tion had been poor. They said 1080 was dropped next to the area they were told to move the cat­tle to rather than the bush next to the area they were moved from. They said it was pos­si­ble the an­i­mals es­caped into the op­er­a­tion area.

DOC said they had ob­tained writ­ten per­mis­sion from the landowner to in­clude part of their land, and gave them in­for­ma­tion packs.

They also got writ­ten as­sur­ance from the landowner that they un­der­stood the de­tails. Dur­ing op­er­a­tions landown­ers guar­an­tee their stock will be be­hind se­cure fences.

DOC’s act­ing di­rec­tor gen­eral Mervyn English said the re­view was im­por­tant to en­sure the pub­lic could have con­fi­dence in the pro­fes­sional dis­ci­pline DOC brought to its op­er­a­tions. Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil will un­der­take the re­view.

Eight cows were found dead on a King Coun­try farm after a 1080 he­li­copter drop.

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