“An aerial 1080 drop in the Kāpiti Coast foothills of the Tararua Ranges is planned for next February after being postponed in spring this year.
“Poor weather prevented the possum control operation over 10,900 hectares of bush and forest between Akatarawa Road in Reikorangi and the Ōtaki River prior to the Christmas-New Year period, when the area is popular with recreational users.”
The media release from Ospri for the Ministry for Primary Industries follows:
“That balanced biodiversity is still a dream on the mainland, but in the first months of 2018, it will come significantly closer after a TB-free aerial 1080 possum control operation knocks down possums and rats across a large chunk of TB vector risk area – 11,000 hectares of bush and forest along the foothills of the Tararua Ranges, between the Akatarawa Road in the south and the Otaki River in the north. The project area is just north of the settlement of Reikorangi, and some of the area for treatment is within view of Waikanae and the Kapiti Expressway.
“The operation, designed in consultation with local communities and landowners, aims to prevent the spread of bovine tuberculosis (TB) into the neighbouring farms and lifestyle blocks around Reikorangi, and reduce the risk of TB infection being maintained by possums. Native flora and fauna, including the birds that come and go from Kapiti, will benefit from the possum control operation.
“The rugged nature of the terrain and in the inaccessibility of the block makes aerial control the preferred method for this operation, although ground-based methods of possum control using traps and poisons will be used on flatter land near areas of population and recreational parks.”
Roger Childs of the Kapiti Independent News comments:-
“The operation, designed in consultation with local communities and landowners, aims to prevent the spread of bovine tuberculosis (TB) into the neighbouring farms and lifestyle blocks around Reikorangi, and reduce the risk of TB infection being maintained by possums.”
This is not true. The world standard for TB free status is an infection rate of less than 0.2%. NZ has had a bovine TB infection rate of 0.04% for the last 10 years. (Source: Fiona McQueen, The Quiet Forest p vi)
Possums tested in recent years have had minuscule levels of TB. Nathan Guy, himself a farmer and the former Minister of Primary Industries, advised in May 2015 that levels of Tb in possum were minimal. Of 124,213 possum autopsied over 10 years, only 54 infected animals were found, i.e., around 0.04%. He also said that no possum tested in the previous year had TB. As there was clearly almost no Tb in possum, they would be an unlikely source of disease in cattle.
Why do the powers that be keep perpetuating lies about the possum – bovine TB link?