WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES?
A Guest Post by Carol Sawyer
What do you say when a pro-1080 person, or just a naive one, asks you "What are your alternatives then ?" (to 1080 poison). It is one of the most common questions asked of people opposed to 1080.
Firstly, some problems have no solutions! Rats have been here for maybe 2,000 years. Let us remember that, at the time Europeans arrived on these shores, many species extinctions had happened, even though there were only approximately 90,000 inhabitants. Fifty percent of the forests had disappeared (since the Polynesians arrived here in ca 1280 AD, and before European colonisation). The process continued and this country, once almost completely forested, now contains less than 25% native forest
"The first 38 extinctions during human settlement were influenced by Maori hunting for food, indiscriminate forest burning, and introduction of the Polynesian rat and dogs. Since mid-1800 European arrival there have been another 19 losses caused by logging, forest clearing for pasture, and introduction of a hoard (sic) of predatory animals including bird enemies numbers one and two, stoats and rats. The prominent extinction groups are all 14 moas, 11 rails, 6 wrens and both eagles." NZ Journal of Ecology
Once mustelids were introduced as well, in the 1870's, the fate of many of our flightless birds was sealed.
When asked " What is your alternative?" the answer, as I see it, is this:
After the arrival of humans the more vulnerable native species were bound to become extinct. This was inevitable and cannot be reversed, but the Department of Conservation, by its fanatical belief in 1080, is accelerating the rate of extinction and extending it to a myriad of species not hitherto in any danger. The demonisation of introduced species, especially birds, is also profoundly stupid, as without these there would be little wildlife at all on most of mainland New Zealand. DoC's attitude boils down to wishful delusion and a cast-iron denial of reality.
Put simply, all that 1080 poisoning is doing is making the situation WORSE! Our wildlife (and human population) would be much better off if we accepted ecological reality, and did absolutely nothing at all!
All of the above is quite apart from the fact that deliberate inhumane cruelty can never be condoned in any society, let alone a supposedly civilised one.