Member for Mirani, Stephen Andrew.
Member for Mirani, Stephen Andrew.

Call for law changes as pets killed by toxic 1080 bait

THE four hour death of a pet dog in Carmila which saw the animal writhing in pain after it inadvertently consumed 1080 toxin has highlighted a lack of appropriate regulation concerning the poison according to Member for Mirani and former pest controller Stephen Andrew.

Colloquially known as 1080, the sodium fluoroacetate poison is used to control invasive animals like wild pigs, feral digs, foxes and rabbits.

Before restrictions changed in August last year, poisoned baits were prohibited within 5km of a town without biosecurity approval. Baits also could not be laid within 2km of a habitation without providing written notification to all occupiers within 1km of the bait site.

New legislation dictates that baits can now be laid without any approval. These baits are only required to be 150 metres away from a dwelling and only neighbours who's properties adjoin the bait site need to be warned.

Mr Andrew said by reducing the required distance the baits posed a large risk.

"People are using it (1080) willy nilly and putting it out," he said.

"These things should be very strictly controlled."

What concerned Mr Andrew was the ease which non target species could be poisoned.

Land owners in Sarina who lost their pets to the poison have contacted the Daily Mercury about their concern that with the bait allowed close to urban dwellings, this could pose a risk to children, pets and native species.

Mr Andrew suggested more stringent regulations concerning the use of poison be executed.

"I have never used 1080 on wild dogs, it does work (well) on pigs and 1080 is sometimes the only way to go," he said.

"With dogs it is a terrible, cruel and painful death.

"I think the people who are in charge of putting out and administering baiting, they should try to use trapping methods prior to baits."

Queensland Minister for Agriculture Mark Furner was approached for comment but did not respond by time of publication.