Ethics: 1080 poison in New Zealand

I am sure we have all heard about 1080. However it isn’t something that I have investigated extensively. A friend asked me today for my view on whether or not the use of 1080 poison, in New Zealand, is ethical. I am currently undecided, as I know very little about 1080. As such, I plan to investigate this issue and provide an in depth analysis from my perspective, which I will publish to this blog.

Potential issues that I will be looking to address include whether or not this poison results in a swift death, to what extent that death is pain free, and how often deaths that are slower or more painful thanĀ usual occur.

I will be looking to find out to what extent 1080 based extermination, of animals that are considered pests, results in reduced suffering to other animals that might otherwise fall prey to those predators (e.g. birds).

I will be looking to find out what alternatives are available, and what percentage of total 1080 use is directed toward which control programmes. I.e., is it mostly used to protect birds from rats and stoats? Or is it mostly used to control bovine TB. How effective is it when used for each of its purposes. And is bovine TB a necessary problem, or is it a problem that arises only as a result of our current intensive dairy farming practices?

I intend to cover all of these issues and more, and will try to take a balanced approach. I will attempt to seek arguments from all sides, before fact checking claims against the published scientific literature.

Watch this space…

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