EPA’s Annual Report on aerial use of 1080 released

17 December 2019

The latest annual report on the aerial use of 1080 for pest control provides greater detail than previous years, giving more information on operations and research.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) Annual Report on the aerial use of 1080 during 2018 shows a near halving of activity compared with the previous year, in terms of both the number of operations and total area treated.

There were 29 operations covering 441,000 hectares of land, compared with 50 operations across 877,000 hectares in 2017. This was due to the Department of Conservation (DOC) using less 1080, as there were no mast events in New Zealand’s forests. Heavy seed fall seasons (known as masts) drive rat populations up, threatening native species.

Operations to reduce bovine tuberculosis by TBfree Limited made up 55 percent of the total aerial 1080 activity in New Zealand in 2018, covering  241,000 hectares.

In detailing incidents reported and complaints received around the aerial operations for the year, there was only one instance of non-compliance with Hazardous Substances & New Organisms Act controls. That occurred in Otago. This was the lowest non-compliance rate since reporting began in 2007. There were 12 instances of non-compliance reported in 2017. An enquiry into eight cattle deaths at Mapara found that DOC breached one of its standard operating procedures, but the breach did not contribute to the deaths.

This year we have included a summary of past research into improving the efficacy of 1080 operations and alternatives to its use. It provides detail on more than 60 projects commenced since the 2007 reassessment of 1080.

Read the full report (pdf 721KB)
Read more about the use of 1080