Every year 100's of 1000's* of poisoned animal carcasses are left to decompose where they fall - be that on land or in water. The decomposing carcasses increase the risk of bacterial contamination and following their death, every poisoned animal becomes a bigger and more persistent toxic bait.
*Based on 1,000,000+ ha poisoned annually/Landcare Research possum density, the impacts of 1080 poison on deer - Graham Nugent & Ivor Yockney Landcare Research deer study, observations and monitoring from over 30 aerial operations.
Wild animals like possums and deer prefer to eat grass than any other foraged food. Possums and deer are often found living around clearings, stream-beds and waterways - because that is where the grass is prevalent. Helicopters spread 1080 poison bait directly across the stream-beds and waterways. The animals eat the baits and die - often in or near water.
The New Zealand manufacturer's warning label states "1080 wastes are eco-toxic" and "Where practicable, the exposed bodies of all poisoned animals should be collected and destroyed by complete burning or deep burial at a landfill approved for hazardous wastes. Dehydrated carcasses may remain dangerous to dogs or cats for an indefinite period. A single mouse poisoned by 1080 may contain enough poison to kill an adult dog".
An American warning label states.
Bacteria from poisoned animal carcasses can contaminate waterways for many months following aerial poisoning operations. Many rural property owners are unaware of the risks associated with drawing water that flows from poisoned drop zones. Tourists, trampers and fishermen drink from poisoned forests streams, and aquatic life like eels consumed the decomposing poisoned flesh. There are currently no cautions on signs warning forest park users about drinking water or consuming eels or trout from recently poisoned streams - excluding the Waikato Regional Council's resolution.
There have been many cases of E Coli and bacterial water contamination in recent times. The Department of Conservation, TB Free and regional council's policy of leaving poisoned rats, possums, pigs and deer to decompose in forests and waterways cannot help reduce the incidence of these outbreaks. 1080 poisoning operations have been undertaken in all of the following out-break districts.