Judy Edwards

Judy Edwards

Former Minister for the Environment; Science

    1080 moves a 'death sentence' for WA wildlife

    31/08/2005 12:00 AM

    A Federal Government agency move to limit the use of the pesticide 1080 would be a death sentence for Western Australia’s native animals, Environment Minister Judy Edwards said today.

    Dr Edwards said a proposal by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to restrict the use of 1080 baits to two per kilometre would severely curtail the use of the toxin to control European foxes and feral cats, which were making a meal out of the State’s small native animals.

    “The recommendation has no basis in science, let alone practical field experience,” she said.

    “The Department of Conservation and Land Management has been using 1080 - which occurs naturally in 39 species of native ‘poison peas’ - on a broad scale across the South-West forests since 1993.

    “Today the department baits 3.5millionha of conservation lands from the Pilbara to the south coast under its Western Shield wildlife recovery program.

    “This baiting regime already has seen three native mammal species brought back from the brink of extinction and removed from the State’s threatened species list. One of those species, the woylie, also has been taken off the Federal Government’s threatened species list and the international IUCN Red List. The woylie was the first mammal removed from the IUCN Red List due to successful recovery actions.

    “This feral predator control program has been hailed as world-class by some of the nation’s most eminent scientists, and yet a Federal Government agency wants to interfere and tell WA how it should run its wildlife recovery programs.

    “The proposal also would have an impact on the State’s grazing industries, particularly those in the outer Wheatbelt and Rangeland areas which are under attack by wild dogs.

    “The Commonwealth already has signed an agreement with Tasmania to phase out the use of 1080 in that State’s forests by December this year. It now appears Canberra wants to impose restrictions on the use of the compound that is one of WA’s great ‘natural assets’.”

    Dr Edwards is writing to the Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority expressing the State’s strong concerns over the recommendation that was contained in a preliminary review released earlier this year.

    The State Government’s Pesticides Advisory Committee 1080 Working Party had prepared a substantive submission objecting to the recommendations.

    Minister's office: 9220 5050