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Protesters stand up against 1080

Lucinda Henry
Charlotte Thieme

Protests against the use of the controversial pesticide 1080, happened across New Zealand on Saturday.

Next stop Doc

Posted by Stephen Davison on Friday, 7 September 2018

The nationwide protests were aimed at calling for a ban on the use of the poison by the Department of Conservation. 

Protesters took part in the silent protest, marching along Columbo St towards the Christchurch City Council. They wore Hazmat suits and gas masks, to signify how toxic the chemicals used are as this is what Department of Conservation workers have to wear when using the pesticide. 

Protester Sarah Hyde, said "they can't talk so we're standing for them...we're all in this together so we've got to stand together to help."

The Department of Conservation reinforced their stance on 1080 in a statement released prior to the protest. DOC maintains their belief that 1080 is safe and necessary to protect New Zealand's native flora and fauna. 

However a former Department of Conservation worker, who asked not to be named, said he was protesting against the use of 1080 poison because he has seen the lethal effects of the poison first hand.

"I worked in the possum industry... I've been into blocks not at work, but after they've done it too... you can smell the death in some places," the ex-worker said. 

1080 was introduced into New Zealand in 1954, and has been a source of long-lasting controversy.