How 1080 is regulated
Introduction1080 is a highly regulated predator control toxin. Several New Zealand government agencies have roles in making sure it is used safely and effectively.
Approval for production and use
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has approved the use of 1080 for predator control in specific circumstances and with tight controls around its production, distribution and use. These include minimum standards for notifying the public before its use and post-operation monitoring and reporting.
The use of 1080 is covered by the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act. A factsheet on the roles and responsibilities of EPA and Worksafe in relation to the act is available from Worksafe:
Human health protection
Before 1080 can be used, operators must get permission from the local district health board’s public health unit (PHU – specifically a public health HSNO enforcement officer). The officer can add conditions to the permission to manage local risks to public health. The conditions may vary depending on the geography, uses, water supplies and houses on or near the land where the operation is planned.
The Ministry of Health has published a set of guidelines for PHUs that should be used to assess the hazards and risks to public health of a 1080 operation and how those risks should be communicated.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) assesses the toxins that are used for pest control from an animal welfare perspective. Under the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Act, MPI sets conditions on the use of toxins to minimise the impacts on animal welfare.
See National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee report about the impacts of different toxins on animal welfare for more information.
Food safety management
MPI manages agricultural residues (including 1080) in food. It also regulates the commercial hunters who supply wild game (like deer). These regulations stipulate what must happen after 1080 has been used in an area.
MPI sets the requirements for manufacturing, selling and best practice for using vertebrate toxic agents, including 1080.
Safe handling and storage
Worksafe is responsible for setting rules for handling, using and storing 1080 in New Zealand. This includes issuing controlled substance licenses to approved users, tracking and compliance.
Users of 1080
Every licensed pest control operator is responsible for managing the risks of using 1080. This includes proper planning, following best practice and carrying out operations according to the regulations and conditions of their permissions.
Users of 1080 are exempt from the Resource Management Act (RMA) 1991 requirements for discharging contaminants, as long as they comply with regulation 7 of the Resource Management (Exemption) Regulations 2017.
DOC has a legal responsibility under the Conservation Act 1987 to manage the land and natural resources held under the Act for conservation purposes.
Under the Public Finance Act, DOC is required to spend public money responsibly. We use 1080 to protect biodiversity because in most cases, it is the most efficient and effective predator control tool – and often the only viable option across large areas where trapping is too risky, difficult, expensive or slow.
DOC also gives permission for operators to use 1080 on public conservation land.
OSPRI uses 1080 to eradicate bovine TB under its TBfree programme. Bovine TB is a disease that has serious consequences for New Zealand’s dairy and beef industries. Deer are also affected. By controlling possums (and in some cases ferrets) on land near farms, the TB they carry is prevented from infecting farmed animals.
Many regional councils use 1080 to control predators on land they are responsible for protecting. This includes places with important native species and ecosystems.
Some examples include: