General manager’s statement on bird poisoning

Statement from Greg Winton, General Manager, Derwent Valley Council

Issued at 7.34pm, July 2

Early Friday morning, a pest control company used chemically laced baits to remove some problem feral geese from Tynwald Park, New Norfolk.

Since early yesterday morning, I have been conducting some preliminary fact finding interviews with members of staff.

My interviews have uncovered the original plan to sedate and relocate the geese elsewhere in the valley was abandoned. The decision to destroy them was deemed the next viable alternative.

I can confirm a chemical, Alpha-Chloralose, was used. The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPiPWE) states on their website that Alpha-Chloralose is “one of the safest and most humane poisons available for controlling problem populations of birds”.

Two days after the geese cull, masked lapwings (plovers) were found at Tynwald Park with signs of poisoning. Two of the lapwings were taken to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary for care but later died. The lapwings have been sent for toxicology testing to determine the cause of death.

The pest control company that was used are fully certified and licensed. They have provided pest control services to Tasmanian Councils for the eradication of feral animals and introduced pests for over 20 years.

I have commissioned an Independent examination into what led, from a decision to sedate and relocate the geese, to euthanasing them. I have had the area where the geese were fed cordoned off and a thick layer of dirt spread over the area as a precaution. The rest of Tynwald Park is open as usual.

Mayor Shaw will also be making a further statement tomorrow morning.

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