Scientific analysis links almost 70 per cent of new bovine TB outbreaks in at-risk areas to wildlife, mostly possums. Controlling the wild animal species that spread TB, and eventually eradicating the disease in wildlife, is a key part of OSPRI's TBfree programme and is critical to protecting the 50% of New Zealand's export earnings produced by the Primary sector. The TBfree programme uses a range of methods to control possums.
The vast majority of its TB control operations are ground-based, using a combination of traps and toxins. However aerially applied sodium fluoroacetate, or 1080, remains the most effective and cost-efficient method available to control possums, particularly in New Zealand's notoriously rugged, steep and remote terrain. In this chapter, New Zealand farmers explain why biodegradable 1080 is such an important tool in the battle against bovine tuberculosis. For more information on how and why 1080 poison is used in New Zealand, visit www.1080facts.co.nz