Macraes 1080 targets rabbits

A 1080 poison drop to kill rabbits has been carried out by the Otago Regional Council over almost 1000ha on four properties in the Macraes area.

The mostly aerial drop started last week with two ''pre-feeds'' of carrots, followed by a third with the poisoned bait, the council's environmental monitoring and operations director, Jeff Donaldson, said.

The poison drop was carried out because rabbit numbers in some patches on the properties had exceeded the maximum allowed level.

Three property owners - Greg Hand, Rex McCone and Jim Thomson - had approached their neighbour, the Department of Conservation, and the four went to the council asking for the operation over their land.

Mr Donaldson said the area being covered was well-fenced and warning signs had been put out notifying people of the drop.

Newspaper advertisements had also been placed.

The poisoned bait was being applied and the area tracked using a GPS satellite positioning system.

Waterways were tested before and after the drop and Mr Donaldson said no public water supplies would be affected.

david.bruce@odt.co.nz

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