Brook Sanctuary bait drop approved

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The Brook Waimarama Sanctuary has been given the green light to drop up to 26.5 tonnes of cereal bait as part of their pest-eradication project.

Yesterday, an independent commissioner appointed by Nelson City Council, approved the dropping of the bait, which contains the toxin Brodifacoum, a rodent poison in the form of pellets that has been put into a cereal bait, which has then been coloured green so that it is unattractive to a number of native species.

General manager Hudson Dodd says it is a “huge milestone” for the sanctuary, and they are now looking forward to getting on with the next phase of the project.

The trust filed for resource consent late last year to drop the bait, with the aim of wiping out mice, rats, possums, stoats, pigs, goats and deer.

The controversial eradication process will involve three aerial drops of the bait, as well as hand-baiting around the fence perimeters, with a greater set-back on residential boundaries.

Hudson says the consent comes with a list of 47 conditions to meet the concerns of affected parties.

“Many of consent conditions are in line or stricter than the code of practice, which will give comfort to the community,” he says.

“The trust is keen to take every precaution for a safe process for everyone involved, including the greater community and neighbouring residents.

“We will be fully transparent about the process moving forward and the public will be notified well in advance, and we will communicate with neighbouring parties regularly.”

Hudson says that in the 26.5 tonnes of bait they will drop, only a tiny fraction of that will contain Brodifacoum – an amount that he says is equivalent to a pound of butter.

Hudson says they are on track to proceed with the baiting operation between July and September this year, but no firm dates have been set yet.

“There are a lot of factors that will go into planning the operation, and we need to do it right,” he says.