Introduction

Read about reports, reviews and regulation of 1080 for use in pest control.

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.

Read the Environmental Protection Authority's five-year review (PDF, 2,631K)

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.

ERMA conclusions

  • 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

Future management

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

Read ERMA’s review of the use of 1080

1080 facts

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.

Learn about the science-based facts about 1080 poison

Forest & Bird

Forest & Bird advocates the use of 1080 poison to protect our native plants and animals.

Read about how 1080 poison protects New Zealand wildlife

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.

Read about why New Zealand uses 1080 poison to control possums

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.

Order a copy of the report.

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.

Read the guidelines for aerial operations with 1080

Landcare Research

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.

Learn more about pest management

Department of Conservation

Pesticide summaries
Pesticide summaries show you where DOC is using 1080 and other pesticides.

Battle for our Birds
To protect our native wildlife the Department of Conservation is implementing the 'Battle for our Birds' predator control programme.

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