Botany, New Zealand
Botany, New Zealand

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Gowtage S.,Animal and Plant Health Agency | Williams G.A.,Animal and Plant Health Agency | Henderson R.,Pest Technology Ltd. | Aylett P.,Connovation Ltd. | And 8 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2017

The oral vaccination of wild badgers (Meles meles) with live Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) is one of the tools being considered for the control of bovine tuberculosis (caused by Mycobacterium bovis) in the UK. The design of a product for oral vaccination requires that numerous, and often competing, conditions are met. These include the need for a highly palatable, but physically stable bait that will meet regulatory requirements, and one which is also compatible with the vaccine formulation; in this case live BCG. In collaboration with two commercial bait companies we have developed a highly attractive and palatable bait recipe designed specifically for European badgers (Meles meles) that meets these requirements. The palatability of different batches of bait was evaluated against a standardised palatable control bait using captive badgers. The physical properties of the bait are described e.g. firmness and colour. The microbial load in the bait was assessed against European and US Pharmacopoeias. The bait was combined with an edible vaccine carrier made of hydrogenated peanut oil in which BCG vaccine was stable during bait manufacture and cold storage, demonstrating <0.5 log10 reduction in titre after 117 weeks’ storage at −20 °C. BCG stability in bait was also evaluated at +4 °C and under simulated environmental conditions (20 °C, 98% Relative Humidity; RH). Finally, iophenoxic acid biomarkers were utilised as a surrogate for the BCG vaccine, to test variants of the vaccine-bait design for their ability to deliver biomarker to the gastrointestinal tract of individual animals. These data provide the first detailed description of a bait-vaccine delivery system developed specifically for the oral vaccination of badgers against Mycobacterium bovis using live BCG. © 2016


Eason C.,Lincoln University at Christchurch | Eason C.,Connovation Ltd | Henderson R.,Pest Technology | Hix S.,Connovation Ltd | And 4 more authors.
New Zealand Journal of Zoology | Year: 2010

The risks of vertebrate pesticides to non-target animals are determined by intrinsic susceptibility, the toxicokinetics of the compounds used, and the degree and frequency of exposure. Metabolism and persistence studies coupled with field surveys have provided us with an improved understanding of the toxicokinetics and non-target effects of different anticoagulants. This has enabled improved choice of tools for island versus mainland use in New Zealand, and has stimulated the development of low-residue tools. Brodifacoum is a potent secondgeneration rodenticide used worldwide for commensal rodent control, and has been widely used to eradicate rodents from islands. The risks associated with 'one-off application of baits containing second-generation anticoagulants for rodent eradication on islands are considered to be outweighed by the potential benefits to their ecosystems. Possums are susceptible to bait containing brodifacoum, but not to first-generation anticoagulants, hence brodifacoum has been the only alternative to 1080 that effectively targets both possums and rodents. On the mainland, contamination of wildlife and game species and secondary poisoning of non-target species has been substantial where brodifacoum has been used repeatedly. We are extending the current range of low residue alternatives to reduce reliance on brodifacoum and sodium fluoroacetate (1080). Currently, suitable alternatives available include encapsulated cyanide Feratox®and cholecalcifcrol paste Feracol®. Other compounds being developed as alternatives include micro-encapsulated zinc phosphate and low dose cholecalciferol and coumatetralyl, or C+C. © 2010 The Royal Society of New Zealand.


Eason C.T.,Lincoln University at Christchurch | Eason C.T.,Connovation Ltd | Shapiro L.,Connovation Ltd | Hix S.,Connovation Ltd | And 5 more authors.
Wildlife Research | Year: 2010

Context. Control of mammals is a controversial area and ecological and ethical justification is needed, with consideration of animal welfare being increasingly important. Australia and New Zealand are facing resistance to the continued use of sodium fluoroacetate (1080) because of its questionable humaneness, relative to cyanide, as well as other non-intended impacts. Wallabies are sometimes deemed unwanted pests requiring control in both Tasmania and New Zealand. We consider there is an ethical obligation to find humane tools and alternatives to 1080 for wallaby control. Aims. Two studies on captive animals were undertaken to assess the effectiveness and humaneness of Feratox cyanide pellets for culling Dama wallabies (Macropus eugenii) and Bennett's wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus). Methods. Cyanide pellets were presented in palatable non-toxic bait to 20 Dama and 24 Bennett's wallabies individually housed in spacious pens. Following ingestion of the toxic pellets by the wallabies, the effects of cyanide on these animals were closely observed. Key results. In all, 18 of 20 Dama wallabies presented with a pellet died. The mean time from cracking a cyanide pellet to unconsciousness was 7.7min, and 13.5min to death. In the separate trial of 24 Bennett's wallabies, 23 of those cracked at least one Feratox pellet in their mouth and died. The mean time from cracking a pellet to unconsciousness was 14min, and the time to death was 22min. In both studies, cyanide induced toxicosis and death occurred rapidly. The onset of symptoms and effects were similar to those previously reported in possums following ingestion of cyanide. Conclusions. Feratox has a short interval from onset of symptoms to unconsciousness in wallabies, with few undesirable signs from the welfare perspective. Implications. Public support is one of several factors influencing the choice of toxins. Toxin use for pest control will be sustained only if the control tools used are humane. On that basis, cyanide offers a preferred alternative to other vertebrate toxins, including 1080, for the control of wallabies. © CSIRO 2010.


Shapiro L.,Connovation Ltd | Kavermann M.J.,Lincoln University at Christchurch | Eason C.T.,Connovation Ltd | Eason C.T.,Lincoln University at Christchurch
New Zealand Journal of Zoology | Year: 2011

Stoats (Mustela erminea) have been implicated in the decline of many native species in New Zealand. At present, kill-trapping is the main technique used for controlling them, but it is labour intensive and expensive. Poisoning offers an alternative, but there are currently no toxins registered for use against stoats. We present the results of two trials undertaken in Waitutu Forest, Southland, to test the effectiveness of para-aminopropiophenone (PAPP) as a stoat control agent in the field. Meat baits containing 13 mg PAPP were placed in bait stations for five nights and tracking rates were used to monitor changes in stoat abundance. In the first trial, the index of stoat abundance was reduced by 83% and in the second trial by 87%. Our results indicate that PAPP is an effective toxin for stoats in the field and has the potential to provide a significant new tool for management of native species. © 2011 The Royal Society of New Zealand.


Eason C.T.,Lincoln University at Christchurch | Eason C.T.,Connovation Ltd | Hix S.,Connovation Ltd | Macmorran D.B.,Connovation Ltd
Integrative Zoology | Year: 2010

The endemic fauna of New Zealand evolved in the absence of mammalian predators and their introduction has been responsible for many extinctions and declines. Introduced species including possums (Trichosurus vulpecula Kerr), ship rats (Rattus rattus L.) and stoats (Mustela erminea L.) are targeted to protect native birds. Control methodologies currently rely largely on labor-intensive trapping or the use of increasingly unpopular poisons, or poisons that are linked with low welfare standards. Hence, the development of safer humane predator toxins and delivery systems is highly desirable. Para-aminopropiophenone (PAPP) is being developed as a toxin for feral cats (Felis catus L.) and stoats. Carnivores appear to be much more susceptible to PAPP than birds, so it potentially has high target specificity, at least in New Zealand. Pen trials with 20 feral cats and 15 stoats have been undertaken using meat baits containing a proprietary formulation of PAPP. A PAPP dose of 20-34 mg kg -1 was lethal for feral cats and 37-95 mg kg -1 was lethal for stoats. Our assessments suggest that PAPP, for the control of feral cats and stoats, is a humane and effective toxin. PAPP causes methaemoglobinaemia, resulting in central nervous system anoxia, lethargy and death. © 2010 ISZS, Blackwell Publishing and IOZ/CAS.


PubMed | Animal and Plant Health Agency, University of Surrey, Pest Technology Ltd., UK Environment Agency and Connovation Ltd.
Type: | Journal: Vaccine | Year: 2017

The oral vaccination of wild badgers (Meles meles) with live Bacillus Calmette-Gurin (BCG) is one of the tools being considered for the control of bovine tuberculosis (caused by Mycobacterium bovis) in the UK. The design of a product for oral vaccination requires that numerous, and often competing, conditions are met. These include the need for a highly palatable, but physically stable bait that will meet regulatory requirements, and one which is also compatible with the vaccine formulation; in this case live BCG. In collaboration with two commercial bait companies we have developed a highly attractive and palatable bait recipe designed specifically for European badgers (Meles meles) that meets these requirements. The palatability of different batches of bait was evaluated against a standardised palatable control bait using captive badgers. The physical properties of the bait are described e.g. firmness and colour. The microbial load in the bait was assessed against European and US Pharmacopoeias. The bait was combined with an edible vaccine carrier made of hydrogenated peanut oil in which BCG vaccine was stable during bait manufacture and cold storage, demonstrating <0.5 log


Shapiro L.,Connovation Ltd | Shapiro L.,Lincoln University at Christchurch | MacMorran D.,Connovation Ltd | Ross J.,Lincoln University at Christchurch | And 2 more authors.
New Zealand Journal of Ecology | Year: 2016

In New Zealand we need to develop new control tools for the overabundant brushtail possum, which is an agricultural and environmental pest. In this study we evaluated the performance of a new microencapsulated zinc phosphide (MZP) paste (1.5% w/w nominal conc.) in a captive study and at six North Island field sites. In the captive study 14 out of 16 possums fed MZP paste bait died (87.5% kill ± 8.3% SE) with death occurring on average 165.4 minutes (± 5.5 SE) after first eating the bait. At all field sites relative possum abundance was estimated using a residual trap catch index, and contractors were able to choose their preferred ground-control technique. Pre-feeding non-toxic paste (using 200–320 g/ha) was carried out over 2 weeks with at least one topup after 7 days. Toxic bait was then deployed using the same baiting regime, and the average decline in possum abundance at the field sites was 82.2% (± 3.2% SE). This trial demonstrates that experienced contractors can get good kills using MZP and a refinement of best practice techniques could further improve control efficacy. © New Zealand Ecological Society.


Eason C.T.,Cawthron Institute | Eason C.T.,Lincoln University at Christchurch | Miller A.,Lincoln University at Christchurch | Miller A.,University of British Columbia | And 2 more authors.
New Zealand Journal of Ecology | Year: 2014

Para-aminopropiophenone (PAPP) paste was approved as a stoat control agent in New Zealand by the Environmental Protection Authority in August 2011 and for feral cat control in November 2011. PAPP was originally researched in Europe and the USA as treatment for cyanide and radiation poisoning. Over the last 10 years, our research has focused on several factors, including determining its toxicity to predators, field effectiveness for controlling stoats and feral cats, animal welfare profile, toxicology, ecotoxicology, and understanding and reducing non-target risks. PAPP has been developed specifically for the control of stoats and feral cats because of the special sensitivity displayed by these species. Its toxicity is mediated by the induction of methaemoglobinaemia (the ferric state of haemoglobin). Normally, methaemoglobin levels in the blood are below 1%. Levels of methaemoglobin in the blood above 70% are usually fatal, creating a lethal deficit of oxygen in cardiac muscle and the brain. In stoats and feral cats, death after a lethal dose usually occurs within 2 h after eating bait, with clinical signs first appearing in 10 to 20 min for stoats and at around 35 min for cats. Animals become lethargic and sleepy before they die, hence PAPP is relatively humane. A simple antidote exists, namely methylene blue. Further, birds display a lack of toxicity to PAPP when compared with other vertebrate pesticides. A paste containing 40% PAPP has been developed for use in meat baits in New Zealand. A toxic dose for stoats and feral cats is achieved when pea-sized amounts of paste are delivered in 10-20 g meat baits. When meat baits containing PAPP are applied in bait stations in field settings, stoat and feral cat numbers can be rapidly reduced. However, there has been limited practical experience with PAPP to date, especially when compared with alternative tools such as traps or sodium monofluoroacetate (1080) baits. Additional practical experience should enable the effective use of PAPP as a tool to help protect native species from introduced predators. In the future, PAPP will be developed in long-life bait and in a resetting toxin delivery system. © New Zealand Ecological Society.


Blackie H.M.,Lincoln University at Christchurch | Blackie H.M.,Connovation Ltd. | Mackay J.W.B.,Lincoln University at Christchurch | Mackay J.W.B.,University of Auckland | And 13 more authors.
Pest Management Science | Year: 2014

BACKGROUND: Invasive mammalian pests have inflicted substantial environmental and economic damage on a worldwide scale. RESULTS: Over the last 30 years there has been minimal innovation in the development of new control tools. The development of new vertebrate pesticides, for example, has been largely restricted due to the costly and time-consuming processes associated with testing and registration. CONCLUSION: In this article we discuss recent progress and trends in a number of areas of research aimed to achieve long-term population suppression or eradication of mammalian pest species. The examples discussed here are emerging from research being conducted in New Zealand, where invasive mammalian pests are one of the greatest threats facing the national environment and economy. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry.


Jay-Smith M.,University of Auckland | Murphy E.C.,Lincoln University at Christchurch | Shapiro L.,Lincoln University at Christchurch | Shapiro L.,Connovation Ltd. | And 4 more authors.
Tetrahedron | Year: 2016

Norbormide [5-(α-hydroxy-α-2-pyridylbenzyl)-7-(α-2-pyridylbenzylidene)-5-norbornene-2,3-dicarboximide] (NRB, . 1), an existing but infrequently used rodenticide, is known to be uniquely toxic to rats but relatively harmless to other rodents/mammals. However, as an acute vasoactive, NRB has a rapid onset of action which makes it relatively unpalatable to rats, often leading to sub-lethal uptake/accompanying bait shyness. It is recognized that the pharmacological profile of NRB is highly sensitive to its stereoisomeric composition, yet no comprehensive endeavor has been made to impart any stereochemical control in its manufacture. The effect of temperature/concentration/reaction solvent/Lewis acid on the Diels-Alder synthesis of NRB is investigated. An attempted stereoselective synthesis of key NRB precursor 2-fulvenylmethanol . 4 is also described. Palatability/efficacy data in rats is reported for novel NRB batches . 1a-1e. Disappointingly, given the level of stereocontrol now available in the synthesis of NRB as a result of this research, no clear relationship between stereoisomeric composition and palatability was observed. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

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