Continued vigilance urged as poisoned possums found

  • Published Date 17 Jun 2022

Recent discoveries by Greater Wellington staff of possum carcasses contaminated by 1080 in popular dog walking areas along key waterways and beach areas has led to renewed calls by the regional council for dog owners to take utmost care of their pets.

“We’re urging people to keep their dogs away from the Hutt River and Wellington Harbour beaches while staff continue to check these areas for dead possums and other pests poisoned with 1080.

“Recent heavy rain has seen a number of contaminated dead possums washed up along the Hutt River and eastern harbour beaches,” says Greater Wellington Biosecurity Manager Richard Romijn.

“Despite the threat posed by contaminated carcasses, many dog owners seem to letting their guard down, allowing their dogs to roam off lead and scavenge in areas that could result in a tragedy.”

The carcasses arise from a 1080-based possum control operation on Friday 27 May 2022 in the Kaitoke Regional Park and the Hutt Water Collection Area.

Greater Wellington has erected warning signs and continues to check river and harbour beaches from Te Mārua to Pencarrow.

While contaminated possum carcasses aren’t a threat to people, they are poisonous to dogs.

“Particularly given we’re finding carcasses – and there may be many more we haven’t - we urge dog owners to avoid all eastern harbour beaches from Petone to Pencarrow, and the Hutt riverside,” says Richard Romijn.

“If you must walk in these areas, keep your animals close on a lead and not allow them to scavenge, until warning signs have been taken down”.

Warnings to dog owners could be in place for up to four months, depending on how long it takes for the possum carcasses to breakdown.

If dogs have any contact with a dead possum, owners should get their dog to a vet immediately.

For more information on this proposed operation and the precautions you can take to ensure safety for you and your pets, visit our 1080 page.

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More information on dogs and 1080 (PDF 1.2 MB)  

Updated June 17, 2022 at 3:53 PM

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