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Environment watchdog backs 1080 changes

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 14/04/2016

Parliament's environment watchdog is welcoming the government's proposal to make the rules around the use of 1080 and other pest control products consistent across the country.

At the moment, some regional councils have different rules for the use of pest control products, which Environment Minister Nick Smith says is unnecessarily complex and confusing.

Instead, the government wants the standard controls set by the Environmental Protection Agency to apply - something it says would reduce costs and result in better regulation.

"Control of pests like rats, stoats and possums is essential if we are to save iconic species like the kiwi. These pests kill 25 million native birds each year," Dr Smith said.

"Pest control is also crucial to eliminating diseases like bovine Tb that pose risks to our key exporting industries."

The Commissioner for the Environment, Jan Wright, says Dr Smith is meeting one of her key recommendations on the management of 1080.

"I'm very pleased to see that the government is proposing to make the regulations that control 1080 use consistent across the country," Dr Wright said.

Dr Smith says there's no environmental justification for having different pest control rules in different regions.

While the requirements for local public notification requirements won't change, they will be standardised.

"It will prevent the ridiculous situation in which notification of a pest control operation has to be provided multiple times to meet different council and national requirements," Dr Smith said.

The proposed changes are a response to a report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, who recommended a more standardised approach to pest control.

A public consultation paper is open for feedback until May 26.

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