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Chemical 1080 Dumped In New Zealand Water Supplies Amid Litigation

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Chemical 1080 Dumped In New Zealand Water Supplies Amid Litigation

In Aukland, New Zealand, a potentially dangerous chemical 1080 is being dumped in the Hunua Ranges. A local conservation group won a temporary injunction in the Environment Court, but we have sources claiming that the 1080 dumps have already been done.

Several days ago, the Aukland Council said they were confident the dumps would proceed as scheduled. According to emails received by residents in the area, the dumps of chemical 1080 baits have proceeded. The residents have wished to remain anonymous fearing government retribution.

“We believe these proceedings provide no grounds to halt the council’s pest management programme,” it says.

“The arguments raised in the application have been refused by the High Court in previous proceedings brought by the same applicant.”

1080 Litigation – Disagreement

The lawyer tasked with defending the citizens who oppose chemical 1080 says that the Council’s claims are not entirely accurate. Attorney Sue Grey says that allowing Chemical 1080 to be dumped in the Hunua Ranges will taint the water supply and potentially cause a health crisis.

chemical 1080 new zealand

Brushtail Possums are controlled by using 1080 baits. CC BY 2.0

“We are playing an experiment on the people of New Zealand while we are putting this poison that’s known to have possible fertility and cumulative effects into New Zealand water supplies,” she said, according to New Zealand’s Newshub.

This is where things get tricky.

The Hunua Ranges account for just under 70% of the local water supply for Aukland. There are four sizeable reservoirs that officials claim will be secured and remain unexposed from the 1080 dump. They also claim that the water will be monitored extensively following the dumps.

But Grey counters the official claims of strategic competence, saying that much of the 1080 will run down streams.

“The whole catchment where the rain lands on the ground and runs down into streams and into the reservoir is going to be covered by 45 tonnes of 1080 poison, which is a deadly poison.” She says.

What Is Chemical 1080?

Chemical 1080 is scientifically known as sodium fluoroacetate. 1080 is toxic to insects and mammals alike. The number “1080” is sodium fluoroacetate’s catalog number. It is commonly referred to as “1080” as a simpler reference.

1080 is found in up to 40 different plants around Australia, Africa, and even as far away as Brazil.

At doses ranging from 2–10 mg/kg, 1080 is lethal in humans. 1080 causes an increased density of citrate in the bloodstream, which in turn causes a disruption to PFK-1. At this point, cells can no longer metabolize carbohydrates. This results in death.

Cats and dogs are most susceptible to 1080’s toxicity.

By all intents and purposes, 1080 is a pesticide commonly used in countries such as Australia and New Zealand for rodent control.

The United States has a restricted use policy for 1080, which is mostly used to control coyote populations.

Why Does New Zealand Use chemical 1080?

1080 baits used to control rodent populations

New Zealand uses 1080 as a way to control the populations of non-native deer, rabbits, opossums, and rats. The reasoning is attributed to what officials describe as tragic consequences for vegetation and native species.

New Zealand is the largest user of 1080 worldwide. Both OSPRI New Zealand and the Department of Conservation are strongly opposed to the use of 1080 in the country’s water supplies.

Government officials claim that 1080 dillutes to levels that aren’t toxic to humans when dumped in water supplies (source). Some studies have shown that 1080 is often untraceable in streams after a period of 8 hours. They claim this happens due to 1080 being highly water-soluble, therefore, forcing it to stick in the soil.

In other words, chemical 1080 baits can be pushed into streams and rivers, fed to animals, and then the remainders don’t end up contaminating the drinking water. At least, that’s the pitch by government officials. The citizens in the region aren’t sold on the science, however.

While it seems as though no solution to the issue will resolve easily, the growing discontent over the matter is an indication the fight is far from over.

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Author: Jim Satney

PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.

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