Upper Hutt: Residents blame possum bait stations for pet poisonings

Residents blame possum bait stations for pet poisonings

by ANTONIO BRADLEY – Upper Hutt Leader

Last updated 05:00 02/09/2009
Maxine Robb with her cat Bouffey

NINE LIVES: Riverstone Terraces resident Maxine Robb with her cat Bouffey, who she believes was poisoned by possum bait stations near her property. Behind her is the pole where moreporks once perched before GWRC installed bait stations.


Veterinarian Andrew Cassells says it is “quite likely” brodifacoum poisoned the cat, but he did not test for poisoning because it was too expensive for the owners.

Some Upper Hutt residents claim the regional council’s possum bait is poisoning their cats and native birds, causing some to die and others to disappear.

Greater Wellington regional council’s business unit BioWorks placed the poison brodifacoum in Riverstone Terraces in April to decrease pest numbers.

Since then, Maidstone Veterinary Clinic has treated three poisoned cats – one of which was euthanised last month – and two poisoned dogs, all from Riverstone Terraces, a vet says.

Depending on the dose, brodifacoum can kill large animals such as dogs, he says.

But BioWorks contracts co-ordinator John Hopkirk says he doesn’t believe its brodifacoum is poisoning cats or native birds.

However, resident Maxine Robb believes her cat, Bouffey, was poisoned by brodifacoum in April after BioWorks installed bait stations on her and her partner’s property.

Within days the couple found shaking, half-dead rats within metres of their house, she says.

Soon after, Bouffey started bleeding from his gums.

Ms Robb took him to Maidstone Veterinary Clinic, believing he had eaten a poisoned rat.

Well heres my two cents worth…..

As a young lad, I run all over Craigs Flat as it was called then (now Riverstone Terraces) and it was farm land with encroaching regenerating native bush. The area was generally used for sheep and cattle grazing.

While we shouldn’t have been on farmland without permission, we loved the rabbits, possums and the wildlife and equally used it to gain access to Whakatiki Stream where we went swimming etc. The area though had huge possum numbers with sign everywhere.

Time moves on, and the River Terraces as a surburban development was built there right up against this regenerating native forest, no wonder given the appeal of the location and the splendid views.

But the problem was and still is Possum numbers, they are endemic. The difficulty lies in how we go about controlling them and the methods used.

I’m either or on this and see the difficulty GWRC has, and well as the concern of the residents.

But I have a solution, one that was on offer back 30 years ago when I roamed up there, bring back a tally for dead possum numbers paid by Regional Councils, killed humanly (no Gintraps like we used). Is it not valid employment in this recession.
Or perhaps the answer lies in that we as humans need to stop developing native bush buffer zones? Isolate, control, monitor and let nature take its course away from human beings and their pets

Posted via web from HuttNZ’s posterous

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