1080 Use In Westland

Source: Scoop, 4 Sept, 2008

Westland Regional Environmental Network (WREN) has today announced its existence and intentions to the public of Westland. The Group’s primary aim is: The implementation of publicly acceptable pest and TB control methods to replace 1080 use in Westland.

WREN has formed in response to the depth of community feeling against the use of 1080 in the Westland district area. The group intends to be a focal point for fair and educated discussion about 1080 and its viable alternatives and definitely does not wish to see TB infection rates on the West Coast going up, nor do they wish to see our biodiversity lost.

1080 has become an emotive issue for obvious reasons, and consequently, inaccurate and irrelevant information has been expounded from both sides of the argument” says WREN spokesperson Mark Mellsop-Melssen.

The group hopes to engage pro-1080 organisations so that the public may then have full access to all the relevant information about 1080, its use and its dangers.

In conjunction with like-minded groups, WREN, along with KEA (Kumara Environmental Action) and KAKA ( Karameans Advocating Kahurangi Action ) is planning a series of public meetings and debates over the next 12 months, along with the distribution of valid and as accurate as possible information, and nation-wide correspondence to media and relevant authorities.

Public support and donations will assist the campaign and WREN invites people concerned about 1080 to show their support by attending advertised public meetings.

WREN believes that previous considerations in regard to 1080 have failed to apply the precautionary principle to the entirely reasonable possibility of chronic poisoning from 1080 in our environment. The views of a modern and decent society appear to have been largely ignored, and significantly, 47 years on from the first 1080 drops in the Hokitika catchment, not only has the factor of inhumane deaths upon animals been perpetually ignored, but there has been a failure to demonstrably consider or implement viable alternatives. These views and others will be publicly debated and an invitation issued to 1080 advocates to present their take on the debate in a professional and cordial manner very soon.

“Our farmers are important to all of us. The Westland people are important to farmers. Can we sit down and talk it over? I think we can. There is a way forward after 47 years of 1080 poison in Westland” said Jackie Douglas WREN co- spokesperson.

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