Deadly poison now available from your corner store

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Your neighbourhood farm store can now sell a super deadly poison (tasteless, odourless and without an antidote) to farmers virtually without any foolproof checks. In mid-June, the Bracks Government announced that it would allow the sale of 1080 poison baits from your local shop. Up until now they were only available from the Department of Primary Industries' offices. Purchasers will have to have done a chemical users course and a half-day lesson on 1080, but they'll still hand over a tub of the stuff for you to throw around anywhere you want.

Wasn't a certain farm fertiliser recently banned for fear of it being used to make bombs? There is absolutely nothing to stop a rogue farmer from using it for other, more sinister purposes, and claiming the foxes took the baits that were down in the back paddock.

Enforcing a half-day course and asking for maps of bait plans doesn't stop its misuse by sloppy or unethical people. We don't even know if it would help get the government off the litigation hook if something goes terribly wrong.

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