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Environment Protection Authority

Pests not pets: working dog deaths prompts 1080 pesticides reminder

Media release: 5 December 2016

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is reminding the community about the dangers of 1080 pesticides, following the death of three working dogs on a farm near Bombala in the state’s South East.

The poisoning, which occurred on 31 August 2016, appears to have been the result of an incident relating to the use of 1080; a restricted pesticide commonly used to control pests such as wild dogs, foxes, feral pigs and rabbits.

EPA investigations found that prior to the incident, South East Local Land Services had provided blue coloured meat baits treated with 1080 poison to local landholders. It appears that foxes then gathered and stockpiled a large quantity of the baits in use. This is not unusual as foxes are known to collect and hide baits for times when food is scarce. 

Unfortunately there is a risk that hoarded baits can be discovered by domestic animals and this appears to have been the case at Bombala, where the working dogs found and consumed a large quantity of stockpiled baits, and became violently ill.

EPA South East Regional Manager Nigel Sargent said such incidents can be avoided if users comply with the chemical’s Pesticide Control Order.

“1080 pesticide users must comply with a Pesticide Control Order (PCO), which is designed to protect everyone in the community and our pets,” Mr Sargent said.

“This includes notifying neighbours of use at least three days in advance and storing baits in a lockable area away from children, pets, foodstuffs, seed and fertiliser.

“To reduce the risk of foxes gathering baits in use, landowners should tether baits where practical, ensure every bait station only contains a single bait, adequately space the stations, and dispose of unused baits.

“If landowners know that baiting is underway in their area, they should keep an eye on their animals, to reduce the likelihood of domestic and working animals consuming the baits.

“The community plays a really important role in helping us monitor pesticide activities. If you’re concerned about illegal use, or you have knowledge about a particular incident, please call the 24/7 Environment Line on 131 555.” 

Strict penalties may apply for non-compliance with a Pesticide Control Order. Under the Pesticides Act 1999, the maximum penalty that a court can impose for failing to comply with a Pesticide Control Order is $60,000 for an individual and $120,000 for a corporation.

For more information on the 1080 Pesticides Control Order visit or call the Environment Line on 131 55.


Contact: EPA Public Affairs

Page last updated: 05 December 2016