The number 1080 will probably not have much significance to anyone who has not lived in New Zealand for very long. However this number brings up suspicion, fear and anger in the hearts of many locals. ‘Compound 1080’ or mono-sodium fluroacetate is a toxin, a lethal poison that has been used for over four decades to control one main invader to New Zealand’s bio-security…The Australian Bushtail Possum.
Discovered in certain types of plants as anti-predator defense, 1080 works by upsetting the krebs cycle, a vital process that cells must go through in order to gather energy.
Currently New Zealand uses over 80% of the 1080 produced in the world and its use has been a battleground between those who claim its the only viable tool to save our biodiversity and livestock and those who claim we are doing mass damage to our fragile ecosystem.