New pest control bait approved

The Environmental Protection Authority has approved an application to import and manufacture two substances containing sodium nitrite in New Zealand to be used as a bait to control possums and feral pigs.

The approval allows Connovation Limited to manufacture encapsulated sodium nitrite (ESN) and a bait using ESN.

ESN is considered to be more humane, less hazardous and less toxic than many substances currently approved for use in other types of pest control. It also quickly breaks down in the body, meaning there is significantly less risk of other animals being poisoned from eating the carcasses of possums and feral pigs that have consumed the bait.

Additionally, an antidote is available that is suitable for humans and non-target animals.

An expert Hazardous Substances and New Organisms committee made the decision after considering the risks to human health, the environment and other animals and imposed a number of rules to ensure that any potential negative impacts are effectively managed.

Rules

Anyone wanting to use ESN as bait for feral pigs must first apply for a permission from the appropriate authority.- A permission may include conditions specific to the site where the bait will be used.

The rules also include requirements about the type and location of the ground-based bait stations that must be used for feral pigs and the signs that must be erected to notify the public that a baiting operation is occurring in the area.

Anyone who may be affected by a bait operation must also be notified.

- An application for a permission will need to be made either to the EPA or the Department of Conservation depending on the land on which the bait is intended to be laid.

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