1080 baits recalled

18 Dec, 2008 10:24 AM

The Department of Agriculture and Food is recalling all unused wild dog and fox sausage baits after testing revealed varying levels of 1080 toxin in some of the baits.

Department acting executive director of biosecurity, Damian Collopy, said testing to ensure consistent high quality baits, indicated recent batches contained baits with 1080 toxin under the registered strength.

Mr Collopy said the baits would still contain enough toxin to control the desired species and that there had been no evidence the baits were ineffective.

However, the department was offering to replace all unused sausage baits for fox control with traditional dried meat baits free of charge early next year.

Wild dog sausage baits will be replaced as soon as the production process is back on-line.

Department staff will also discuss other options with landholders to support control efforts for both foxes and wild dogs.

"The level of 1080 in baits is set above the required level to allow some breakdown of the toxin in storage and when placed in the field," Mr Collopy said.

"This ensures, even with some variation, the baits remain effective."

Mr Collopy said a bacterial contamination of the meat product prior to bait production, is believed to have affected the 1080 levels in some baits.

"Steps are being taken to implement a new meat cleaning and bait drying process at the department's Bait Production Unit to ensure the bacterial problem does not reoccur," Mr Collopy said.

"Production of sausage baits has ceased until the new process and equipment is in place.

"In the meantime, the Bait Production Unit will produce traditional dried meat baits for fox control for landholders."

Mr Collopy said the majority of sausage baits were used in aerial baiting programs for wild dog control in pastoral regions during Spring, as well as for fox control.

Landholders wishing to return unused baits are to return them to the local supplier where the purchased them from.



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