Trout taken from catchments where 1080 poison has been dumped are safe to eat, the Ministry for Primary Industries says.
It says a preliminary food safety study it conducted using data gathered by researchers in Nelson "strongly indicates that consumption of wild trout caught from areas that have had 1080 applied will not pose a food safety risk to humans".
The department - which insists there are no health risks from its Battle for our Birds programme - was forced to test the impact of 1080 on trout after complaints from anglers.
It says anglers who are worried should adopt a "zero risk" approach - that is, not eat their catch.
Meanwhile, Auckland Council yesterday voted to switch to 1080 for pest control in the Hunua Ranges Regional Park, which supplies 65 per cent of the city's freshwater supplies. At present, pests are managed using cyanide and other poisons.
From next winter, when pests are searching for food, the council will use helicopters to dump 1080 pellets in the park. It says stringent controls will ensure the poison does not enter water supplies, which it promises to carefully monitor.
The move will save almost $1 million and ensure pesticide is spread over the 17,000ha ranges.
The pesticide has been given the all-clear by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright.
But 1080 remains controversial and is regarded with suspicion by opponents who argue that sub-lethal amounts can disrupt the body's immune system and lead to long-term health problems.
The poison is banned in most countries. New Zealand is the world's largest 1080 user.
- NZ Herald