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1080 Decision Reduces Risk to Native Animals

17 January 2008

ref: mr01/08

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has today released the findings of its review of 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate), announcing strengthened controls on use of the chemical which will help reduce impacts on native animals and birds.

The APVMA’s Manager, Chemical Review, Dr Les Davies, said that the decision will result in better protection for non-target animals while continuing to provide an effective means of managing wild dog populations which threaten farm livestock.

Dr Davies said the review was undertaken to address concerns over unintended effects on the environment through the poisoning of non-target animals. He said the review findings are based on a comprehensive assessment by experts of a large number of scientific studies, as well as field observations and reports.

“The way to help minimise risk to non-target species is to use the minimum effective bait application rate, together with appropriately targeted placement of baits,” Dr Davies said.

The APVMA decision prescribes a nationally consistent application rate of 10 baits per kilometre. The APVMA is satisfied that, with these amendments to conditions for use, the continued use of 1080 will not adversely affect the environment.

In the months leading up to the release of the review, some NSW landholders expressed concerns that the reduced baiting rate would not adequately control wild dogs preying on their livestock.

“Taking those concerns into account, we met with representatives of the NSW Farmers Association, the NSW Department of Primary Industries and the State Council of Rural Land Protection Boards to advise them that the APVMA would consider issuing a permit to allow higher baiting rates in some limited areas of NSW for a transitional period,” Dr Davies said.

Accordingly, the APVMA has issued a permit to allow continued use of 40 baits per kilometre in specific locations for a limited time.  However, the APVMA made it clear that any longer-term continuation of these arrangements would only be considered if further research demonstrated clearly that the higher rates were necessary for effective wild dog control without adversely affecting populations of native animals and birds

Sodium fluoroacetate (or sodium monofluoracetate), commonly known as ‘ten-eighty’ (1080), is used for the control of feral animals including rabbits, foxes, wild dogs and pigs, and, in limited situations, native animals. Its use in controlling feral animals such as foxes plays an important role in agricultural production and in the protection of native animal species.

Details of the review findings and the new regulatory requirements for the use of 1080 are set out in the report ‘Reconsideration of registration of products containing sodium fluoroacetate (1080) and their associated labels: Review Findings and Regulatory Decision'. The report, background information and a stakeholder impacts statement are available.

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