1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) poisoning involving domestic pets

November 2017
 
By Gerard Leddin, Senior Policy Officer
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development WA
 
There have been recent reports involving domestic dogs and suspected 1080 poisonings. 1080 poisoning of domestic pets is a stressful event for pet owners and the local veterinarian is often called upon to provide advice and support. 
 
The use of 1080 is regulated in WA and it is an invaluable tool in managing a range of declared pests which have impacts on our agricultural industries and natural environment.  It is used for the control of feral pests as such rabbits and foxes. 
 
However, the use of this S7 toxin does present risks to a range of non-target species. Some of the risks may occur though the off label or accidental use or from secondary poisoning. 
 
Anyone wanting to use 1080 must first apply for a permit. To obtain and use 1080, permits are issued to farmers, pastoralists and licenced pest management technicians by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), formerly DAFWA. All permit holders are required to have completed approved training prior to applying for the permit and must comply with the conditions of use on the permit that may be issued. 
 
DPIRD also has a role to ensure that reported incidents involving 1080 are investigated. These investigations are designed to ensure that this chemical is used in the correct matter as detailed on the permit and on the label. It also provides assurance to local pet owners and 1080 permit holders that the use of this chemical is monitored.
 
If there is evidence of deliberate misuse or failure to comply with permit conditions, this would constitute a serious offence. DPIRD will investigate and report its findings to the Department of Health. Depending on the evidence and the case details, DPIRD can cancel a permit or recommend to the Department of Health that they give formal consideration to further action, including prosecution, under the Medicines and Poisons Act 2014.
 
DPIRD is seeking the assistance of veterinarians in WA to report suspected cases of 1080 poisoning. This information will allow DPIRD to conduct an investigation and ensure the reasons for poisoning are understood and preventive measures are undertaken. 
 
All cases should be reported to the following contact;
 
Phone: (08) 9368 3333
 
 

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