News from Regional Council
The Greater Wellington Regional Council yesterday warned dog owners to keep their dogs away from the Hutt River and Wellington Harbour beaches until staff have checked these areas for possum carcasses poisoned with 1080.
Heavy rain on Wednesday night may have washed possum carcasses poisoned with 1080, from a possum control operation on 29 July in the Akatarawa Forest, down the Hutt River and into Wellington Harbour.
Greater Wellington has had staff checking beaches from Petone to Eastbourne and out to Pencarrow. Once the level of the Hutt River has gone down, staff will be checking both sides for possum carcasses from Te Marua to Petone. The checks are expected to take until the end of today. Staff have started placing warning signs in all these areas
Greater Wellington Regional Council Biosecurity Manager Davor Bejakovich said that any possum carcasses weren’t a threat to people but would still be poisonous to dogs.
“While people aren’t at risk from these poisoned carcasses, we take the threat to dogs very seriously. We’re putting up warning signs along beaches at Petone and the eastern side of the harbour and along the Hutt River as soon as the water level has dropped.
“We urge dog owners to avoid all eastern harbour beaches from Petone to Pencarrow, and the Hutt Riverbed. Anyone walking their dog near the harbour beaches and Hutt Riverbed should keep their animals close on a lead and not allow them to scavenge, until warning signs have been taken down.”
This could be up to four months depending on how long it takes for the possum carcasses to breakdown (staff are monitoring the breakdown of possum carcasses in the Akatarawa Forest where the possum control operation took place).
If dogs have any contact with possum carcasses in the vicinity of those areas, owners should get their dog to vomit and take it to a vet urgently.