1080: DOC Staffer Censors Wikipedia To Remove Anti 1080 Information

We saw something similar happen with Palmerston North’s entry in Wikipedia (see P.N’s Wikipedia entry censored), now it’s alleged a DOC employee has edited Wikipedia to remove links to anti 1080 groups. See the actual 23 July Wikipedia edits here: ‘article edit’ and ‘link removed’. There was also a much older edit made from the same IP address on 6 Jan 2009 when a link to the’ Stop 1080 Poison Group’ was removed.

NZ News Yahoo

“Department of Conservation (DOC) is working to track down a staff member who deleted anti-1080 information from a Wikipedia page while at work.

The staffer deleted a reference to films against the poison on Friday from the online encyclopaedia’s “1080 usage in New Zealand” page, The Press reported.

A link to the Stop 1080 Poison lobby group was also removed.

The amendments were traced to DOC through its internet protocol address.

DOC spokesman Rory Newsam told NZPA that IT staff were working to track down where on the department’s 1800-computer network the deletion was made, before steps were taken to find out which staff member was involved.

It was hoped the computer used would be identified within the next 48 hours.

The action was a breach of DOC’s internet-use policy, Mr Newsam said.

He was unable to say what sort of action would be taken against the employee.

The removed sentences read: “Steve and Clyde Graf have produced two DVDs about the effects of 1080 on New Zealand wildlife.

“The first, A Shadow of Doubt, released in 2006 and rated Adults Only (AO), is a 90-minute feature film. The second film, Paradise Poisoned, was released in July 2009.”

Christchurch man Alan Liefting, who set up the “1080 usage in New Zealand” page last September, resurrected the information within 30 minutes.

He told The Press debate was being “stifled” by “bad-faith editing” by public servants wasting their time.

“It’s not up to DOC employees to do this sort of thing.”

Indeed. Surely they’ve got far more important things to do with their tax payer funded time than to make so many edits to Wikipedia.

We looked at the entry today and note that a link has been restored at the bottom of the page but the sentences are still missing. The information displayed at present is as follows. Additions made to the page since 10 Feb 2009 (last time this blog copied the information) are highlighted in red

“The use of 1080 in New Zealand as a pesticide is a contentious issue, with the majority of the debate occurring between conservationists and hunters. Concerns are also raised about security of potable water supplies in areas where 1080 is applied.

Worldwide, New Zealand is the largest user of 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate). 1080 is a commonly used pesticide since it is very effective on mammals. New Zealand has no native land mammals apart from two species of bat and there are many introduced mammal pests that require control. The first trials were carried out in New Zealand in 1954, and by 1957 its use had become widespread. 1080 baits are used through ground based and aerial application to control possums (an animal pest introduced from Australia) and other introduced mammalian pests.[1]

New Zealand’s unique fauna and flora are endangered by the rapid spread of possums, stoats and rats.[2] Also, the possum is a vector for tuberculosis so possum numbers are controlled to prevent its spread amongst cattle and deer herds. As the possum is from the eastern states of Australia and is a mainly arboreal forager, it has never developed a resistance to sodium fluoroacetate.[citation needed] A positive side effect of aerial poisoning is a temporary drop in rat numbers which, however, recover due to the niche created by low possum numbers.[citation needed]

While the Department of Conservation and the Animal Health Board [3] favour the effectiveness of aerial 1080 application,[4] critics of the application of 1080 claim: “agencies increasingly use large scale aerial applications to cut costs”.[citation needed] Opposition from hunting groups and threats by other opponents have made local agencies responsible for the use of the poison hire guards to protect their staff.[5] Forest and Bird, the largest conservation organisation in New Zealand, advocate the use of 1080 for controlling all mammalian pests.[6]

The Environmental Risk Management Authority in August 2007 released its latest review of 1080 use. The review gives new guidelines for the use of the pesticide in New Zealand and concludes that the beneficial effects of pest eradication outweigh the risks.[7] 1080 quickly decomposes in soil and water into harmless compounds, resulting in low persistence in the environment.[8]”

The complete revision history of the page, with associated IP addresses may be seen here: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=1080_usage_in_New_Zealand&action=history

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/