1080 degradation

by Carol Sawyer

Where are the missing reports, DoC?

The reports the Dept of Conservation have provided are in this link

They say:

“Maanaki Whenua Landcare Research tested eight dead rats and one weka. None of these animals had any residue of 1080 toxin. Two other rats were too decomposed to test.

“Massey University School of Veterinary Science undertook post-mortem examinations of five of the dead rats but could not determine their cause of death. The weka was also examined with cause of death unknown.”

“The reports produced are for 4 dead rats and one weka and one rat too decomposed to test.”

Well my arithmetic says that 8 dead rats (plus 2 decomposed ones) comes to 10.

Some questions requiring answers:

1. Where are the reports on the other 4 rats that were not too decomposed to test?

2. Why was only fluoroacetate (1080) tested for ? As the carcasses were already at least 16 days old at time of testing, they needed to test for a range of chemical markers – metabolic products of 1080 poisoning, such as fluorocitrate. Biosynthesis had taken place. (See the attached paragraph from Spurr and Powlesland: “Dead Birds”)

3. Why did the testing take so long ? Were they waiting for more degradation to take place? (Remember the poisoned Indian family… no urine tests for 1080 poison were done for 18 days, despite that being recommended by a doctor at the time!)

4. Why did the scientists use gas chromatography? Another scientist has said : ‘Gas chromatography won’t find 1080. They should have used 19F NMR and looked for metabolic products. They have deliberately used the wrong tests.’

4. Where did the Weka’s head disappear to?

5. Why didn’t the labs test any bone marrow? Spinal is the best source apparently. (Even if the Weka’s head fell off and got lost en route, they could have tested its spine.)

6. What happened to the crayfish DoC took away for testing?

These are just a few of the questions that need to be asked. There will be more!


Comment by Karen Hore


When we carried out the monitoring of the Waianakarua Scenic Reserve in 1999, DoC heard about it and Bruce Kyles of the Otago Conservancy contacted us and said any birds found should be frozen within 24 hours.  We withheld them for a long time as we had no trust in DoC as they could have “lost” them or left them lying about for a week or two before autopsy. When eventually they were offered to DoC for autopsy they said that they only had funding for one autopsy a year, we had 24 native birds. In small birds and animals 1080 degrades quickly. It cost me at that time $350 to get a bush worm tested for 1080, one of many found on top of the ground dead three days after the drop along with heaps of small weta. This crap as well as being deadly is also very subtle.