On Tuesday, the SPCA called for a ban on using poisons, including 1080, to kill animals.
The SPCA statement said they want to ban poisons like 1080 because “these substances cause such intense and prolonged suffering to animals that we believe their use can never be justified.”
The call sparked a backlash among conservation groups like Forest & Bird, who said the SPCA have blown their credibility by misunderstanding how nature works in the wild.
In a press release, Forest & Bird chief executive Kevin Hague said: “the SPCA’s statement on the use of 1080 is seriously misinformed, and contains errors of both fact and logic.”
He told TVNZ “Giving up 1080 would lead to an ecocide of huge proportions in New Zealand, and the SPCA need to understand this is the outcome of their pest control position.”
University of Auckland conservation biologist Assoc Prof James Russell told RNZ “banning 1080 immediately would probably increase overall suffering of all animals in New Zealand… With 25 million birds being killed a year by those species and one rat or one stoat able to kill hundreds of animals a year, I think that’s where most of the suffering is occurring at the moment.”
The SPCA statement was covered widely by local media, including:
Stuff: Fact checking the SPCA’s anti-1080 stance
NZHerald: SPCA call for ban on 1080 over animal welfare issues challenged by Forest & Bird
Newshub: SPCA calls for ban on 1080
TVNZ: SPCA, Forest and Bird butt heads over call for 1080 ban – ‘a blow to their credibility’
RadioNZ: SPCA criticised over article supporting 1080 ban
RadioNZ: SPCA wants more innovation into humane alternatives to poison
Radio NZ: Conservation biologist says 1080 alternatives long way off