1080 (sodium monofluroacetate) is a cruel and indiscriminate poison
used to ‘remove’ unwanted populations of animals.
Banned in most countries, 1080 is still used liberally throughout
Australia to control so-called ‘pest’ species, and reduce ‘browsing
damage’ caused by native animals on private land.
1080 poison is a slow killer. When ingested (usually through baited
food) the animal suffers a prolonged and horrific death. Herbivores
take the longest to die – up to 44hrs, while carnivores can take up
to 21hrs before finally succumbing to final effects of the poison.
The speed of death is dependent on the rate of the animals
A Slow & Horrific
Witnesses to the deaths of herbivorous animals, such as macropods,
"Affected wallabies were
sometimes observed sitting hunched up, with heads held shakily just
above the ground. Generally they appeared non-alert and 'sick', with
shivering or shaking forelimbs and unsteady balance. Most
individuals then experience convulsions, falling to the ground and
lying on their backs and sides, kicking and making running motions
with their hind legs before dying. Many individuals also ejaculated
shortly before death, and, with others, exuded a white froth from
their nostrils and mouth."
Carnivorous animals such as dingoes, dogs, foxes, and cats become
very agitated, as they tremble, convulse and vomit.
The list of symptoms
increased hyperexcitability; incontinence or diarrhea; excessive
salivation; abrupt bouts of vocalization; and finally sudden bursts
of violent activity. All affected animals then fall to the ground in
teranic seizure, with hind limbs or all four limbs and sometimes the
tail extended rigidly from their arched bodies. At other times the
front feet are clasped together, clenched or used to scratch
frantically at the cage walls. This tonic phase is then followed by
a clonic phase in which the animals lie and kick or 'paddle' with
the front legs and sometimes squeal, crawl around and bite at
objects. During this phase the tongue and penis may be extruded,
their eyes rolled back so that only the whites show and the teeth
ground together. Breathing is rapid but laboured, with some animals
partly choking on their saliva. Finally such individuals begin to
relax, breathing more slowly and shallowly and lying quietly with
the hind legs still extended but apparently semiparalysed".
From the above descriptions, it is without question that 1080
poison inflicts great pain and suffering on affected animals. Aside
from the physical pain endured over the many hours before death, the
terror, fear and anxiety felt by these animals is unimaginable.
Spreads Through the Environment
is primarily used to ‘manage’ introduced species. However, this
poison is an indiscriminate killer. Poison laid for rabbits is
normally in the form of baited carrots and oats, but any other
animal occupying a similar niche such as the kangaroo are just as
likely to eat the poison. It has been estimated that baits laid for
rabbits threaten a further 50-62 species.
not only has devastating consequences for the animals who directly
consume it, but it also affects the surrounding environment and its
inhabitants. Scavengers and carnivores are killed through secondary
poisoning when they feed upon unrecovered carcasses. Indeed 1080
spreads so thoroughly through an ecosystem that insectivorous birds
have been killed in baited areas by eating insects who have fed on
carcasses and poisoned food.
Despite the obvious pain and suffering caused by this barbaric
poison, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority
(the body responsible for the review, regulation and distribution of
1080), refuse to reassess the use of 1080 based on animal welfare.
This is because (quote) ‘there are no well established scientific
criteria for assessing or making decisions about animal humaneness.
1080 Is Not An Effective
Form Of Population Control
is not a sustainable method of population control, and only
temporarily removes the target animals from a given area. It also
has no effect on the overall population of a species (except where
they are already made vulnerable through habitat loss, i.e. with
native animals). The sudden removal of a group of animals merely
creates ‘spaces’ which will quickly refill themselves.
only creates the illusion of an immediate solution, usually for
short sighted economic gains. There are many forms of non-lethal
population control, that are both humane and effective, and that
will not also damage our already very fragile environment.
Non-Lethal, Humane &
humane and non-lethal alternatives to 1080 exist, and if we stop
seeing 1080 as a ‘necessary evil’ many more alternatives will be
Maremma Guard Dogs
Growing sacrifice crops
Wallaby & rabbit proof mesh fencing
Metal tree rings to minimise ‘grazing damage’
During May 2005 up to 200 000 Bennetts wallabies on King Island were
sentenced to a slow and agonising death in one of the largest
coordinated 1080 poisonings seen in Tasmania, our so-called 'clean,
green, natural state'.
In an environment already saturated with 1080 these wallabies were
the latest victims in the Agricultural and Plantation Forestry
Industries effort to prevent our increasingly vulnerable wildlife
from grazing on private land.
which is 64 kilometres long by 27 kilometres wide, is dominated by
agriculture. Seventy percent of its once magnificent environment has
now been decimated to provide grazing land for cattle and sheep,
forcing the native inhabitants to live on the peripheries of farms
as unwanted pests. In an attempt to further reduce the numbers of
wallabies a line of baited carrots 115 kilometres long was placed
across 16 of the island's farms to control 'browsing damage'.
Bennetts wallabies take many hours to die after having consumed 1080
baits. Witnesses have reported that the animals can be observed
sitting 'hunched up' with their heads and limbs shaking. Poisoned
individuals appear 'sick' and withdrawn from their surroundings, and
eventually suffer from violent seizures before collapsing and
kicking uncontrollably. As they die, usually from cardiac failure,
white foam exudes from their mouth and nostrils. It is also
important to recognise that in-pouch joeys will not necessarily die
from the 1080 poisoning after drinking their mothers contaminated
milk. The people responsible for clearing the carcasses are
instructed under the 'Code of Practice for Use of 1080 Poison'
to 'humanely destroy' any surviving in-pouch joeys found in dead
mothers by 'decapitation with a sharp knife or a heavy blow to the
head'. However, as you will later read only an estimated 10% of the
200 000 dead marsupials will be recovered, and so the majority of
in-pouch joeys will be left to slowly die of dehydration or
The liberal use of 1080 as a means of controlling so called 'pest'
species and populations has shocking consequences not only for the
target animal, but for the surrounding environment and it
inhabitants. A preliminary review of the use of 1080 by the
Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA)
released on 23 May 2005 for public comment, shows without doubt that
the dispersal of 1080 in 'bait form' presents a danger to
non-target animals, and that the chemical is 'easily leached
from some materials by rain or even dew fall'. Non-target animals
(each species has varying sensitivity) are as equally attracted to
1080 baits as the targeted animals. Native mammals who are commonly
killed by herbivore baits (such as those used for the Bennetts
wallabies) are other macropods, wombats, possums and native rodents.
But its list of unintended victims does not end there scavenging
animals such as magpies, kookaburras, crows, and currawongs, and
carnivorous species like the already threatened Tasmanian Devil and
marsupial quolls are killed through secondary poisoning when they
feed upon unrecovered carcasses. Indeed 1080 spreads so thoroughly
through an ecosystem that insectivorous birds have been killed in
baited areas by eating insects that have fed on carcasses and
One of the species listed in the APVMA report as being so
susceptible to carrot baits that local extinctions have occurred, is
the Potoroo. This tiny macropod is one of the many native animals
that tourists can hope to encounter on King Island. And for all the
carnivorous and scavenging animals it has been estimated that only
10% of the possible 200 000 Bennetts wallabies poisoned will be
recovered after death. This minimal attempt is made despite a strong
recommendation from the APVMA that 'animal carcasses must be
recovered during and for 14 days after a baiting campaign and be
destroyed by burning or burial'. However this promise only accounts
for 23% of the 1080 used annually in Tasmania, 77% will still be
used by the Agricultural and Plantation Forestry Industries.
The fact that agricultural profit is constantly placed above the
interests and well being of other animals will most likely ensure
the continuation of 1080 use. The APVMA touched briefly on the
subject of animal welfare in their report but stated that as there
is no 'scientific criteria for assessing or making decisions about
animal humaneness' they could come to no conclusions on this
'matter', and Braddon Liberal MHR Mark Baker referred to those who
have spoken out against the use of 1080 as an "extremist bunch of
Please send letters of
protest to the Tasmanian Government and demand that they prohibit
the use of 1080 on private land based on humane and environmental
objections. There are proven alternatives to 1080 and they must
be used. Also write to ‘Tasmanian Tourism’ and let them know
that Tasmania is fast loosing its reputation as the 'natural state'
and that the revenue made from eco-tourism far out weighs the
minimal reduction in revenue which may result from the co-existence
of agriculture, forestry and wildlife.
Hon. Judy Jackson
Tasmanian Minister for
Environment & Planning
GPO Box 825
GPO Box 399
Hobart TAS 7001
Poison: WA Govt. Wants Full Scale Cruel Poison Retained
Objections by the Western Australian Government to a proposed
limitation in the use of 1080 poison are astonishing, according to
Joan Papayanni, President of the World League for Protection of
Animals. “Such objections take no account of possible long term
effects on the environment of continued use of this poison, or of
the horrendous suffering of all animals ingesting it – both native
and non-native,” she said.
“Proposed by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines
Authority after a three year national review, the limitation in 1080
use, reducing the number of allowed baits per kilometre from five to
two, is a step forward, but does not go nearly far enough,” says Ms
Papayanni. “Targeted to kill foxes, wild dogs and feral cats, the
poison kills many other species as well, through primary or
secondary poisoning. Concern at the number of secondary poisons was
in fact a major trigger for the review. But no animal deserves
death from 1080.
“Meat baits can remain toxic for up to eight weeks and in dry
conditions for up to a year – leaving a long period of time for
secondary poisoning to occur. In carnivores such as dingoes, foxes
and cats, animals become very agitated, tremble, have violent
seizures, and may crawl around, biting randomly at objects till
their breath becomes laboured, semi paralysis sets in and they
eventually die. This can take up to 20 hours. Many a loved companion
animal has died in this way.
“A poison banned in
almost every country of the world except Australia and New Zealand
and virtually outlawed in the US since 1972, 1080 should be outlawed
in Australia, not only for its cruelty but also because we simply do
not know what might be the long term effects of continually pouring
substantial amounts of this poison into the environment.
It is to be hoped the final review will strongly promote alternative
solutions to saving native animals from predation – solutions such
as appropriate fencing and the use of guard animals such as llamas
and Maremma Guard Dogs – found to be effective in many cases in
The painful poisoning of animals should not be acceptable in 21st
Please note that some councils within Sydney are now choosing not to
use 1080 in their control of introduced animals.
Poison: 1080 IS TORTURE
PROTEST AGAINST 1080 USE IN TASMANIA
UP TO 200 000 WALLABIES
DIE SLOW AGONISING DEATH
During May up to 200 000 Bennetts wallabies on King Island were
sentenced to a slow agonising death in one of the largest
coordinated 1080 poisoning seen in Tasmania.
A 115km line of baited carrots was laid across 16 beef and dairy
farms in order to control ‘browsing damage’ from native wildlife.
Bennetts wallabies take approximately twelve hours to die; during
this time they convulse violently and froth at the mouth before
finally collapsing from cardiac failure. The Code of Practice for
1080 Use in Tasmania states that the in-pouch joeys who often
survive must be ‘humanely destroyed’ by ‘decapitation’ or ‘a heavy
blow to the head’. However, only an estimated 10% of the dead bodies
on King Island were collected, leaving thousands of in-pouch joeys
to slowly die from dehydration and starvation while the bodies of
their mothers rotted around them.
In 2004 the Tasmanian government promised that it would phase out
the use of 1080 poison in state forests by December 2005. But this
promise would only apply to 23% of the 1080 used annually in
Tasmania, 77% is used by private land holders to poison hundreds of
thousands of our increasingly vulnerable wildlife each year.
1080 is an indiscriminate poison and it affects entire ecosystems.
Non-target animals (each species has varying sensitivity) are
equally attracted to baits. Scavenging animals, such as magpies and
kookaburras, and carnivorous animals, like the endangered Tasmanian
Devil, and the marsupial Quoll, routinely die when they feed upon
unrecovered carcasses. One of the species listed by the Australian
Pesticides & Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) as being so
susceptible to carrot baits that local extinctions have occurred, is
the Potoroo. These tiny macropods are also native to King Island.
King Island farmers insist that they resorted to using poison
because ‘there exists no other commercially viable alternative’.
However many would dispute this claim including the APVMA which
recently released a review of 1080 use. Its findings state that
there are many humane, affordable and effective products such as
fencing, including the wallaby proof ‘mesh fencing’ and tree guards
for use in plantations. The Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural
Research has also tested and proven that mesh fences are not only
cost effective but reliably prevent unwanted herbivores from
accessing private property. Before issuing permits to farmers the
Department of Primary Industries Water & Environment (DPIWE)
“encourages” the fencing of properties as an alternative to 1080 use
but does not require that these recommendations are not mandatory.
APVMA states that Tasmania’s use of 1080 only ‘exerts a “knock-down”
effect and does not reduce the local numbers of the target species
in the long term'. Yet 1080 is consistently used as the main method
for population control.
Joan Papayanni President for the World League for Protection of
Animals said she is “… appalled that Tasmania the so called ‘Natural
State’ is still using such damaging and noxious poisons in our
environment when alternatives exist, and given there are dangerous
and long lasting side effects. Already a majority of states
throughout the US have banned the use of 1080 based on humane and
environmental reasons, as have most enlightened countries around the
The World League will be
holding a protest against Tasmania’s use of 1080, at the Tasmanian
Tourism Office, 50 Parkes St Sydney on Friday 22 July 2005 from 12pm
noon till 2pm.
Please come and defend
Tasmania’s disappearing native wildlife!
Joan Papayanni President:
Office: 9817 4892
Poison: World League Protests Tasmania’s Use of 1080 to Kill
On the 22 July 2005 the World League for Protection of Animals held
a demonstration outside the Tasmanian Tourism Offices in Sydney to
protest the use of 1080 to kill Bennetts Wallabies and other native
wildlife on King Island and Flinders Island.
On the day we distributed thousands of leaflets, and were met with
great enthusiasm and support from passers by.
We urge everyone to contact the Tasmanian Government, and the King
and Flinders Island Councils and demand that they immediately
replace their use of 1080 with the many humane, non-lethal
alternatives that are currently available.