These are little Possums. How do you feel about them? Cute? Cuddly? ……………..
Yes, these are considered dangerous in New Zealand and every effort is taking place to try and eradicate them from the wild in New Zealand.
They are not native in NZ, they were introduced because their skin and fur are very soft and very much in demand for fashion accessories. The earlier settlers got them across from Australia and bred them for a bit before leaving them out in the wild so that they could grow in numbers and thrive in the wild on their own without the farmers having to worry about them and later they can hunt them down and harvest their fur and skin. The Possum -Minx is quite costly.
A few years later it was realised that because this is not natural habitat for these animals, their immunity isn’t working well, and hence lots of New Zealand possums fell prey to certain strain of Tuberculosis. This now becomes dangerous- because these animals roam around in the wild and get around the pet animals and animal farms as well, the herds of cow, sheep etc could contract the tuberculosis from them and cause greater outbreaks of the disease.
Tables turned. The authorities decided to cull all the possums, and not allow organised possum farming in New Zealand anymore. This is easier said than done, as they’ve spread out and wide in the NZ woods, and as there are no native predators they thrive in the wild. The way out?
Poison their food and spread around poisoned pellets in their natural habitats.
These poisoned pellets of course make their way into local water streams etc because the whole west part of NZ is so wet and almost a network of streams and rivers. The dead carcasses of the possums can be poisonous to dogs/ cats and such pet carnivores.
Welcome to a world of streams and rivers where you can’t just lap up some fresh water and drink, because once again mankind is not at ease with another animal because of a man-made problem and for a solution are poisoning the earth!
Some do adopt slightly varied methods of possum control like laying traps to catch them, but of course they are not as efficient as just poisoning them all!
The farmers are allowed to harvest skin off the possums thus killed and sell them at really high prices again, only if they can state that these were not purpose bred but killed in wild. Now let me be the devil’s advocate here, but if I can’t help thinking there may be some farmers out there who are not interested in actually eradicating the possums completely but rather let them grow, kill them with poison at times and keep the money flowing!
There are groups of environmentalists that object such reckless use of poison to pollute local soils and waters, but after all they are all Hippies and the Authorities don’t listen to the Hippies.
May 27, 2012
I shared this blog on the Stop1080 Facebook page and received some interesting responses from both camps; thought should share them here.
Ofcourse it was for the best of everyone if they were not introduced, it was human greed that brought them there and it is human greed that is killing them now.
Mary Molloy So sorry that you have to find our filthy secret – We should not be poisoning our country at all – very few possums have TB and they catch it from farm animals, good farming and not 1080 poison solves bovine TB which possums catch from cows in the first place
I don’t have any vote in how they deal with local problems in New Zealand as I am neither a NZ resident nor a stake holder, but let me tell you; It may be Your country, but this is My Earth too. And you are nothing but a faceless troll.
No one can disagree with 1080 being a sort of poison. At certain doses it kills certain animals, at smaller doses at different time-spans it may cause different type of reaction in another animal- including humans. The paper you just cited above also says “the risk of people becoming sick from
drinking water or eating food containing 1080 is very small” – read that again- “VERY SMALL” not “NON-EXISTENT”.
Also from the same document: “Studies with rats have also shown
that prolonged exposure to high doses of 1080 may affect the development of
and that these effects are from ‘controlled experiments in laboratory’ while they can’t comment on what can happen in uncontrolled exposure in the outdoors.
Also read: “Studies of the effect of 1080 on rats, ferrets, ducks, starlings, lizards, and
invertebrates have shown that repeated non-lethal doses of 1080 can damage
organs such as the heart, muscles and testes”
So, do something about this before you loose your balls!