Anti-1080 lobby issues a press statement – and then it shies away from media questioning

Dave Hansford, a science and environment writer, sensed the same whiff of rat that was niggling our olfactory senses at Point of Order the other day.  He proceeded to investigate and reporteds his findings in an item, Dead rats, a mystery lab, and the very curious antics of the anti-1080 lobby, which was published on The Spinoff.

The whiff followed the release by an anti-1080 lobby of “lab tests” which – the group contended – found poison in vermin that washed up in Westport last month.

This directly contradicted the findings of Landcare Research, which had tested carcasses for 1080 and found none. (In necropsies, Massey University was unable to establish a cause of death).

Hansford set out see if the lobby’s claims stand up to scrutiny.

He failed to flush out the identity of the laboratory which did the testing: Continue reading “Anti-1080 lobby issues a press statement – and then it shies away from media questioning”

Toxicologist is called in to help sort out contradictory findings on 1080 and wildlife deaths

We smell a rat when one laboratory report says testing has  detected 1080 in dead rodents collected on the West Coast, contradicting the findings of another laboratory report which found no evidence of the controversial poison.

The identity of the laboratory which produced the first-mentioned report is being kept confidential “for the security and safety of the independent chemists involved … ”

The secret lab’s findings challenge the Department of Conservation insistence that 1080 was not found in any of the wildlife tested by Landcare Research and Massey University veterinarians.

Who should we believe?

The Science Media Centre asked for help in tackling that question by asking for  comment from Dr Belinda Cridge, in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at University of Otago.  Her observations can be read HERE. Continue reading “Toxicologist is called in to help sort out contradictory findings on 1080 and wildlife deaths”

Just in case you missed the Beehive’s news of another PGF handout, a New Zealand First MP announced it, too

The Point of Order Trough Monitor, programmed to alert us to ministerial handouts, nevertheless sounded the alarm when the latest Provincial Growth Fund spending was announced by a politician further down in the pecking order.

Accordingly we have learned that the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has allocated $3.5 million to develop innovative predator control approaches which will reduce the need for repeated 1080 use.

The news was delivered in an embargoed press release from a New Zealand back-bencher, conservation spokeswoman Jenny Marcroft.

Perhaps she was hoping to draw attention from other matters involving her party.

Perhaps she was hoping the media were less likely to miss the announcement if it was made more than once.

Or perhaps she wanted to give greater emphasis to the role the PGF is playing in finding ways of reducing the use of 1080, the most effective way of eradicating pests such as rats and possums but a poison passionately opposed by some environmentalists.

We muse on the second two possibilities because the news was also announced – the official announcement, you could say – by Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau.

This announcement (posted on the Beehive website) says – Continue reading “Just in case you missed the Beehive’s news of another PGF handout, a New Zealand First MP announced it, too”