At a public meeting at the South Otago town in April, a number of people were vocal in their concerns about the impact of the poison as a means of TB possum control with toxin sodium fluoroacetate - 1080, on water ways, people and animals, in the Glendhu recreational area.
Following the meeting, TBfree poison programme contractor Ospri met with a working group comprising of local Lawrence residents and farmers on Friday May 20, to discuss the Glendhu Forest aerial 1080 operation, Ospri Southern South Island Programme Manager Brent Rohloff said.
As a result, operators had agreed to undertake water testing and in addition, would also be assessing the viability of making some additional boundary changes, to allay concerns about the impact of the control programme on water ways.
This included the area above the main water supply, the Phoenix Dam, in which case would be subjected to 1080 ground control, rather than aerial drop.
"We have listened to the community and, as a result, will be undertaking water testing of the Lawrence township water supply. We are also looking at the viability of extending the exclusion area above the Lawrence water supply intake".
Rohloff said part of the TBfree's mandate was to not only deliver a bovine TB eradication programme, but to identify ways of mitigating the effects of operations on local communities, and would therefore make a number of operational changes to the planned Glendhu Forest 1080 application.
"We want to work with the community to deliver a safe, effective pest control operation that will have major benefits for both bovine TB control and biodiversity protection."
Ad FeedbackOspri had agreed to give the Lawrence working party and people 24 hour's notice about the drop, along with in an advertisement in the Tuapeka Times.
Dog warning signs would also be planed at the main entrance points to the operational area.
The first test would be undertaken at Phoenix Dam near Lawrence, after eight hours and within 24 hours of the drop, and the second test after 100mm of rain had fallen. Ospri would inform the working party and public about the findings.