1080 and threatening babies

When I was campaigning, I came across a few people who opposed the use of 1080 poison. Their reasons varied: some thought that possums were darling creatures who did no harm, others wanted their dogs to be safe in the bush, still others argued that the bush fell silent after 1080 drops. They all wanted to know what I thought about using 1080 to control possums and other introduced pests.

“I follow the science,” was my standard reply. And the science is very very clear: 1080 is very effective with respect to controlling possums and other pests, and it does minimal harm.

There is scads of actual research supporting this conclusion. Not anecdotes, not hunters’ tales, but scientific research, conducted using standard scientific protocols. And the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment backs the use of 1080. If the evidence changes, and by that, I mean that if the *scientific* evidence changes, then I will change my mind about using 1080. But until then, it’s the best weapon we’ve got against possums and other pests that are decimating our native bush and wildlife.

So when some nasty person, or group of people, threatens to poison babies because they don’t like 1080, then like most New Zealanders, I’m outraged. It is never right to threaten babies in order to make a political point.

More than that, I’m sad and angry for the parents who are trying to do their best for their children. Feeding my babies was a lovely time for us, most of the time. It was about cuddles and talking and eye contact and cherishing my littlies, even in the turmoil of trying to manage twins. Moments of tenderness and love for us.

How many parents are now upset and worried because some fool thinks it’s okay to threaten babies. There are so many things wrong with this action, but the one that is biting deep for me is this robbing parents of moments of joy and tenderness with their children.

As I tweeted yesterday, I think that the anti-1080 lobby in New Zealand will have lost a lot of its supporters now.


2 comments on “1080 and threatening babies

  1. rayinnz says:

    You are so right about this.
    We had one of the anti 1080 people in our discussion group, he refused to recognise farm deer, would not even go on farms that ran them but was ok about shooting them and the real damage they did to the environment
    Wondered about dobbing him in but as he had an anti 1080 sign on his road side feel he will be known
    There are downsides to 1080 but the positives have been scientifically proven, end of argument

  2. Carol S says:

    Excellently said, Deborah.
    i have my doubts about whether this nasty person/people really had much intention to carry out this ghastly threat, given the huge practical difficulties in doing so, and I suspect their motivation was more to get people agitated and upset and angry – which he/she/them has certainly achieved. however, he/she/them may have not realised that we are all upset and angry with THEM and not with the government and its use of 1080, which is extremely well supported by science as you said. In fact the EPA review found that the risk of acute poisoning to the public would be GREATER if cyanide was used instead of 1080 because it is more toxic.

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