1080 protesters go too far this time

We all know that the use of 1080 is an emotive issue. There is no doubt that it is a poison, and it does kill pretty much everything that crosses its path. The trouble is, at the moment, there are not many other ways to control stoats and possums, and until something better comes along, DOC is committed to using it. There is also no doubt that there is a lot of fallout from 1080 use. It does kill birds, deer and even dogs, if they accidentally consume it. The argument will probably rage on for a little while yet.

However, protesters against the use of 1080 will do just about anything to make their point. And this time, they may have gone a step too far.

Stuff?reports: quote:

The rare native birds placed on Parliament’s steps during an anti-1080 protest were “almost certainly” bludgeoned to death, the Speaker says.

He has referred the matter to police.

The birds were definitely killed by blunt force trauma, and Massey University is now performing post-mortems on them to ascertain exactly whether or not they were bludgeoned. end quote.

This is absolutely disgraceful. These are protected birds, and while sometimes they are killed as a result of 1080 drops, deliberately bludgeoning native birds to death to make a point is despicable. It is also a crime. quote:

About a dozen birds were placed on Parliament’s steps, including five native birds who?have protected status, meaning it is illegal to kill or possess them.

“The expert advice is that the birds were almost certainly bludgeoned to death,” Speaker Trevor Mallard said. end quote.

So the protest movement for the banning of 1080 has just lost all credibility. Deliberately bludgeoning native birds to death to make a protest proves nothing. All it shows is that these agitators will stop at nothing to try to gain sympathy for their cause. Including actually killing the birds that they are supposedly trying to protect. quote:

The native birds were two kereru, two weka, and a Red-Billed gull.

The protest also involved throwing likely-fake 1080 pellets through the grates of the main doors into Parliament. end quote.

I am sickened by this. I know that native birds are often collateral damage in the battle against predators, but in the end, bird numbers do often recover after a 1080 drop. This is something quite different. quote:

Mallard said he believed strongly in the right to protest but “they’ve got to stay within the bounds of the law.”

“As a protected species under the Wildlife Act 1953 it is an offence to kill any absolutely or partially protected wildlife. It is also an offence to buy, sell or otherwise dispose of, or have in his or her possession any absolutely protected or partially protected wildlife. Individual persons are liable for an imprisonment term not exceeding 2 years or a fine not exceeding $100,000, or both.” end quote.

The trouble with the 1080 protesters is that they have no answers. They blindly protest against the use of 1080 without having any alternatives. If there was a better or safer alternative, DOC just might use it. But all the protesters do is protest. They are nothing more than miserable activists. And dangerous ones at that.

Now, it seems, they are prepared to kill native birds, just to prove a point.

Some of you may know that we own a lifestyle block in the Buller area. There is a dairy farm up the road, and as a result, there are regular 1080 drops. I’m not crazy about it, but… again, I acknowledge that the alternatives are limited.

Since the 1080 drops started, the local bird life has mushroomed. We have wekas, blue ducks, pukekos, kereru, fantails and other birds we have never seen before. I’m not saying 1080 is good, but it does give the bird life a chance to recover their numbers.

The wekas have become particularly cheeky. They have started pulling off bits from underneath the car. They will steal your sandwich and drink your coffee. Yes. They are little shits. But they are native birds after all.

Without the 1080 drops, we would have no wekas. We would have no rata. Rata is a possum’s particular favourite food, and the trees get eaten very fast. Incidentally, they also have a taste for pohutukawa. Would the 1080 protesters be happy to see the end of our native Christmas tree?

I’m not saying 1080 is good. I don’t even totally disagree with the protesters. But deliberately killing native birds is despicable. It does nothing for their cause, and it does nothing for our birdlife either.