Target: Hills Shire Council
Goal: Stop using horrific poison to kill red foxes
The Hills Shire Council in New South Wales, Australia, is reportedly applying the poison 1080 to Australia’s Bidjigal Reserve and Excelsior Reserve in order to kill red foxes. 1080 is a notoriously cruel poison and indiscriminate killer. It causes disorientation, diarrhea, vomiting, convulsions, and a slow, agonizing death that can take more than 24 hours. Officials claim that the foxes compete with native fauna and therefore must be killed to protect more endangered animals.
This poison creates a danger for other animals that the Council is trying to protect as well as the foxes. It poses a serious threat to native wildlife and companion animals who consume the poison or the bodies of poisoned animals. Like rodenticides, which were banned by the EPA recently, 1080 is an indiscriminate poison that can easily kill an animal other than the target animal, either by direct ingestion of the poison or by ingesting another animal that has eaten the poison. Although the program buries the poison, other animals, especially dogs, may dig it up and eat it. Also, secondhand ingestion is always a problem even when the target animal is killed. Another animal may eat the dead one and succumb to the poison itself.
Whereas the Hills Shire Council may need to control the fox population, there are more humane ways of doing so, as well as ways that pose less of a threat to other animals. Pet dogs are particularly at risk, since they will dig up the buried poison. Dogs are not supposed to be off leash in the reserve, but there are reports of owners allowing their dogs off the lead. Even one pet dog getting into the poison could lead to great emotional distress for the owner and a terrible death for the dog. Please urge the Hills Shire Council to reconsider their use of 1080 to poison foxes.
Dear Hills Shire Council,
Please reconsider your use of 1080 to poison foxes in your nature reserves. Pets may easily get into the poison or ingest an animal that has ingested the poison, creating great emotional distress for the owner and a torturous death for the pet. Secondhand ingestion is also a major issue with your use of 1080. Even if the target animal is killed, another animal may ingest it and be killed as well.
There are safer and more humane ways of controlling the fox population. Please consider using one of those ways to reduce the number of foxes instead of a way that poses a threat to many animals, not only foxes.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Harlequeen via Wikimedia Commons