by Carol Sawyer

More interesting news from the Dept of Conservation:

On 1 November, DoC aerially dropped 104 tonnes of 1080 poison baits on the Maruia catchment because, they said, there is a beech mast producing masses of food, and consequently a plague of rats all over the country.

One week later, a large amount of dead rats (680) washed up on North Beach at Westport. This is quite an unusual occurrence and might be explained, according to DoC’s Buller Operations Manager, Bob Dickson, by the fact that the rats were starving to death, jumping into the rivers, and ending up on the beaches.

A glut of food one week. Suicidal starvation the next. Well, that’s quite a turnaround!

One has to ask the question… if the rats are voluntarily jumping into the rivers, at no expense to the taxpayer, why would DoC feel the need to drop tonnes of 1080 poison on rats that are doomed already?

Westport News 12 Nov 2019