Science supports using 1080
IntroductionIndependent experts, conservation agencies, community groups and scientists endorse the use of 1080.
The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment
In 2011, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) conducted an independent review into the use of 1080. The PCE is wholly independent of the government of the day.
The report systematically assessed 1080 for its effectiveness, safety and humaneness.
“It is my view based on careful analysis of the evidence that not only should the use of 1080 continue (including in aerial operations) to protect our forests, but that we should use more of it.
“Alternatives, whether currently available or on the horizon, can complement the use of 1080, but cannot replace it. The huge effort, expenditure and achievements to date in bringing back many species and ecosystems from the brink would be wasted if the ability to carry out aerial applications of 1080 was lost.”
Independently of DOC, Newshub interviewed Jan Wright in September 2018:
DOC, OSPRI (TBfree NZ), Federated Farmers, Forest & Bird and WWF-New Zealand all agree that 1080 is an effective, safe and valuable tool in the fight to protect New Zealand’s forests and native birds, bats, insects and lizards.
The agencies above, along with community groups and volunteers, invest huge amounts of time and effort to protect out native taonga from predation.
Recently we put out a joint statement, clarifying our unified endorsement of 1080 as a pest control tool, co-signed by DOC Director-General Lou Sanson, Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society Chief Executive Kevin Hague; Federated Farmers Board Member Chris Allen; WWF-NZ Chief Executive Livia Esterhazy and OSPRI Chair Barry Harris.
Independent scientists and experts
Science writer Dave Hansford
Dave Hansford is the author of Protecting Paradise: 1080 and the Fight to Save New Zealand's Wildlife and an experienced science and environment writer. He’s reviewed the evidence around use of 1080, monitoring results and anti-1080 claims, and endorses 1080 as a vital tool.
The literature – reports, reviews and regulation of 1080
Read independent reports and reviews around using 1080 for pest control and learn about the strict regulations for its use.
Environmental Protection Authority's annual review of aerial 1080 use
Read the 2017 report, published December 2018.
Environmental Protection Authority's five-year review of aerial 1080 use
Published December 2013
The rules for using 1080 were changed in 2007, after a major reassessment that reviewed the risks and benefits of the poison (see below). This five year review looks at how aerial use of 1080 has changed since then. It shows the new rules are working as intended, so there are no plans to reassess 1080 again.
Overall the review shows:
- There are now fewer complaints about 1080 operations. Only five were reported in 2012, which is a substantial improvement when compared to 34 in 2008 and 35 in 2009.
- The number of “incidents” (which include rule breaches by the general public and by operators) has declined since 2010. There were 35 incidents in 2010, 34 in 2011, and 23 in 2012.
- Monitoring data from more than 500 samples show that 1080 was detected in only two percent of all samples and has never been detected in drinking water catchments. Where it has been detected, concentrations of 1080 are far below the levels set to protect human health.
- The number of operations was highest in 2008, at 70, and has now declined to 48 for 2012. The reduction in operations is considered to be due to the normal long-term cycle of pest control.
- The amount of 1080 used in aerial operations declined between 2008 and 2010 and has remained relatively constant since.
- The total land coverage by aerial 1080 applications was greatest in 2008 and lowest in 2010. From 2009 onwards it has fluctuated between 400,000 and 500,000 hectares.
Environmental Risk Management Authority's independent review of 1080
Published August 2007
In 2006, DOC and the Animal Health Board (now TBfree New Zealand) requested that the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) conduct an independent review of 1080 and reassess its use in New Zealand. ERMA was the government agency responsible for managing adverse affects of hazardous substances.
The review considered volumes of scientific literature and experts' evidence and heard more than 1400 submissions before approving 1080 for continued use.
- The continued use of 1080 has significant benefits for New Zealand’s environment
- Well-managed aerial operations posed a low risk to the native environment and to indigenous biodiversity
The agency called for a tighter management regime for aerial operations that included:
- Establishing a watch list of aerial 1080 operations
- Stengthening existing controls for all users of 1080 to further mitigate the risks
- Promoting best practice before and during 1080 operations
- Further research into the effects of 1080 and the use of alternatives
This website provides the science-based facts about 1080 poison in New Zealand. It is a joint Federated Farmers and Forest & Bird initiative and is supported by a number of partner organisations.
Forest & Bird
Forest & Bird advocates the use of 1080 poison to protect our native plants and animals.
TBfree New Zealand
TBfree New Zealand (formerly the Animal Health Board) supports the use of 1080 poison to control possums, which are the main cause of bovine tuberculosis infection in cattle in New Zealand.
Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment
In 2011 the Commissioner released an independent report Evaluating the use of 1080: Predators, poisons and silent forests endorsing the use of 1080.
National Possum Control Agencies
The National Possum Control Agencies (NPCA) is a forum for agencies and stakeholders to discuss and resolve possum and vertebrate pest issues. NPCA has developed guidelines for practitioners involved in managing and undertaking aerial 1080 pest control.
The Pest Control Technologies Team focuses on research into new and improved pest control management strategies, tools and techniques. The key pest targets include possums, rats and stoats.