27 Jan 2011

Group not impressed by less poison in possum drops

10:15 am on 27 January 2011

An anti-1080 group is unimpressed by moves to significantly reduce the amount of the poison used in aerial drops to kill possums.

The Animal Health Board says research has shown that with a different distribution technique it's possible to get a high kill rate in aerial drops, using very little poison bait.

It's planning aerial pest control operations that will reduce the amount of 1080 used by 75%.

However, the Upper Coromandel Landcare Group considers that is only a small victory.

"The sad reality is that we've had 50 years of research into this and only now is it discovered that this could be done with way less poison," said group member Reihana Robinson.

The group is also opposed to a proposal to introduce a new poison for possum control.

The Animal Health Board says sodium nitritehas been successfully tested in trials and is regarded as being more humane than other poisons.

It's initially proposed for use in ground-based pest control, but is also being assessed as an option for aerial drops.

But Ms Robinson says adding another poison to the environment is not the answer.

However, the board says it's likely to be some years before sodium nitrate is available for aerial use.