[13 September/The Country]

A complaint was laid with police by the Speaker of the House after native birds used in a 1080 protest appeared to be bludgeoned to death. Protesters laid dead birds on the steps of Parliament alongside fake 1080 pellets. The claimed the birds were killed by 1080 poisoning, however Trevor Mallard said the cause of death was blunt force trauma. Police inquiries into the matter were ongoing. Acting Director General for DOC, Mervyn English, said New Zealand had a predator crisis and 1080 was needed. Mr Mallard added forensic experts said the birds were killed by blunt force trauma. He added it was an offence to kill any absolutely or partially protected wildlife. He noted he was supportive of reasonable protest action at Parliament, and believed in individual and group rights, however could not condone illegal activity as part of a protest. He said there were also eight incidents where DOC staff were approached by anti 1080 supports which was more than usual.