Saturday , January 23 2021

Hundreds of 'poisoned' dead rats wash up on beach after heavy rain – Mirror Online, Mirror.co.uk


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Hundreds of dead rats have washed up on a beach in New Zealand following heavy rain.

The rats were seen on the Wesport shore following 24 hours of downpours.

It is thought they may have been poisoned in a 1080 operation – the name given to the substance used in New Zealand to control populations of possums, rats, deer and

DOC Western South Island operations director Mark Davies confirmed toStuffthere had been an aerial 1080 drop at Te Maruia in the Lewis Pass National Reserve recently.

Te Maruia and Inangahua river catchment feeds into the Buller River and had a plague of rats treated with toxin a week ago, Davies said.

Dog owners have been warned to avoid the area

Officials have begun removing the rats

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However there are also reports of dead fish and birds washing up on the beach, which is not consistent with the way 1080 is understood to work.

The poison operation was also more than 140 km away from Westport’s North Beach, where the rats washed up.

“However, until we know otherwise, we have to presume the rats have been poisoned by 1080 and take a cautionary approach, “he said.

Samples have been taken but results are expected to take between 48 and 72 hours.

Davies said about 600 rat carcasses had been collected along about 3km of beach, and DOC staff would check the beach after high tides for the next couple of days.

Meanwhile, dog owners have been warned to keep their pets off the Westport while the beach is investigated.

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