I’m not pro-1080.
I don’t support banning it either.
I like to think I have a balanced approach. I think that ground control of invasive species like possums, rats and stoats is better and should be used where feasible. I also understand that it is not currently feasible in many places. This may be because of difficult access, dangerous terrain, or lack of people able and willing to do the trapping. Because those species are so destructive of our native ecosystems, I support the use of 1080 drops where ground control is not an option – at least until something better comes along.
But I am getting turned off by the behaviour of some people in the anti-1080 camp (and I say that because I don’t really see it coming much from the other side). The ones who don’t seem to care whether they are telling the truth. The ones who try to hijack every discussion and make it about 1080. Most of all, the ones getting viciously personal about anyone who disagrees with them. I know 1080 advocates who have spent their entire lives protecting native ecosystems and it makes me angry to see them being accused of hidden agendas, even more so when it is by keyboard warriors who barely step out of the house.
Not all anti-1080 people act like this. I’d be surprised if many of them didn’t feel the same way. I know plenty of people on both sides of the debate and the reality is most of them are good people who genuinely care about our land. They just disagree on this issue. That’s a good thing – it keeps us thinking. I just wish there was as much energy and focus for the real threat to our environment– intensive pastoral farming.
Your ‘balanced approach’ sounds reasonable, but the Poison programmes are not. Despite debatable success, and harsh criticism about 1080, answers are not forthcoming. The ‘Precautionary Principle’ suggests we should get better research as well as consistent answers.
Spot on. Most people who are ‘pro’ 1080 (and I guess I’m one) would love there to be better alternatives. But even more: this debate is something of a sideshow. A great deal – probably the majority – of pastoral farming practice in Aotearoa is intensively destructive – and we’re only just picking up on it. It’s a lot more than nitrates and water use – those those are huge issues. Pesticide use and wetland destruction is a massive factor in the decline of insects – and birds numbers are surely following that. Soil structure is systematically destroyed- and soil microbial activity unbalanced or gone. Trees and other foliage is still being removed at a great rate, leaving more and more monocultures, devoid of any biological diversity. It’s a worldwide problem we – we desperately need to get on top of it, but we’re not even acknowledging it’s happening.