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Daily News Blog

16
Dec

Help Ban Predator Poisons

(Beyond Pesticides, December 16, 2019) Thousands of wild and domestic carnivores will continue to be poisoned by hydrogen cyanide after the Trump Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) re-approved the use of M-44 “cyanide bombs” earlier this month. Cyanide bombs are small, poison-filled land mines baited with food and placed on rural land with the intent of killing predators that prey on grazing livestock. Along with the extremely toxic Compound 1080, these bombs threaten both domestic and wild non-target animals.

Tell your Congressional Representative to support H.R. 2471, banning the use of Compound 1080 and M-44 cyanide bombs for predator control. Thank those who have already co-sponsored.

Everything is wrong with the use of these poisons.

They poison non-target animals, including humans and pets. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services, M-44s killed 13,232 animals in 2017. Of these, more than 200 deaths were nontarget animals, including family dogs, a wolf, opossums, raccoons, ravens, and skunks. Wildlife Services is one of the agencies allowed to set M-44s, and is notorious for poor data collection. Compound 1080 is one of the deadliest poisons on earth and has no antidote. It is now allowed to be used in the U.S. only in bladders worn as collars by livestock. Although a few predators are poisoned when they puncture the bladders, other animals are killed through secondary poisoning when they consume the carcasses of poisoned animals.

They promote livestock production by absentee ranchers—mostly on public lands—who set loose animals to graze without watching over them. Alternatives to poisons include human presence (shepherds), predator-proof fencing, guard animals, electronic sound and light devices, biological odor repellents, night penning, shed lambing, and carcass removal. Unlike poisons, all of these alternatives carry the additional benefit of being non-lethal.

They kill predators who are an essential part of the ecology. After many years of killing wolves, Aldo Leopold came to understand the need for them:

I now suspect that just as a deer herd lives in mortal fear of its wolves, so does a mountain live in mortal fear of its deer. And perhaps with better cause, for while a buck pulled down by wolves can be replaced in two or three years, a range pulled down by too many deer may fail of replacement in as many decades. So also with cows. The cowman who cleans his range of wolves does not realize that he is taking over the wolf’s job of trimming the herd to fit the range. He has not learned to think like a mountain. Hence we have dustbowls, and rivers washing the future into the sea.

Public sentiment is overwhelmingly opposed to the use of the poisons. Of more than 22,400 people who submitted comments on EPA’s proposal on the cyanide bombs, only ten asked the EPA to renew its registration of M-44s. Despite this overwhelming public opposition, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is renewing the products with only minor changes to the labels that govern their use.

A bi-partisan bill introduced by Rep Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Rep Matt Gaetz (R-FL),  in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Chemical Poisons Reduction Act of 2019, will eliminate the use cyanide bombs and compound 1080.

Tell your Congressional Representative to cosponsor H.R. 2471, banning the use of Compound 1080 and M-44 cyanide bombs for predator control. Thank those who have already co-sponsored.

Letter to Congress

Thank you.

I am writing to thank you for co-sponsoring H.R. 2471, the Chemical Poisons Reduction Act of 2019, which will eliminate the use of Compound 1080 and M-44 cyanide bombs for predator control.

Or request to sign on:

I am writing to ask you to co-sponsor H.R. 2471, the Chemical Poisons Reduction Act of 2019, which will eliminate the use of Compound 1080 and M-44 cyanide bombs for predator control.

Unless it is passed, thousands of wild and domestic carnivores will continue to be poisoned by hydrogen cyanide after EPA re-approved the use of M-44 “cyanide bombs” earlier this month. Cyanide bombs are small, poison-filled land mines baited with food and placed on rural land with the intent of killing predators that prey on grazing livestock. Along with the

extremely toxic Compound 1080, these bombs threaten both domestic and wild non-target animals.

Everything is wrong with the use of these poisons.

* They poison non-target animals, including humans and pets. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services, M-44s killed 13,232 animals in 2017. Of these, more than 200 deaths were nontarget animals, including family dogs, a wolf, opossums, raccoons, ravens, and skunks. Wildlife Services is one of the agencies allowed to set M-44s, and is notorious for poor data collection. Compound 1080 is one of the deadliest poisons on earth and has no antidote. It is now allowed to be used in the U.S. only in bladders worn as collars by livestock. Although a few predators are poisoned when they puncture the bladders, other animals are killed through secondary poisoning when they consume the carcasses of poisoned animals.

* They promote livestock production by absentee ranchers—mostly on public lands—who set loose animals to graze without watching over them. Alternatives to poisons include human presence (shepherds), predator-proof fencing, guard animals, electronic sound and light devices, biological odor repellents, night penning, shed lambing, and carcass removal. Unlike poisons, all of these alternatives carry the additional benefit of being non-lethal.

* They kill predators who are an essential part of the ecology. After many years of killing wolves, Aldo Leopold came to understand the need for them:

“I now suspect that just as a deer herd lives in mortal fear of its wolves, so does a mountain live in mortal fear of its deer. And perhaps with better cause, for while a buck pulled down by wolves can be replaced in two or three years, a range pulled down by too many deer may fail of replacement in as many decades. So also with cows. The cowman who cleans his range of wolves does not realize that he is taking over the wolf’s job of trimming the herd to fit the range. He has not learned to think like a mountain. Hence we have dustbowls, and rivers washing the future into the sea.”

Public sentiment is overwhelmingly opposed to the use of the poisons. Of more than 22,400 people who submitted comments on EPA’s proposal on the cyanide bombs, only ten asked the EPA to renew its registration of M-44s. Despite this overwhelming public opposition, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is renewing the products with only minor changes to the labels that govern their use.

H.R. 2471, the Chemical Poisons Reduction Act of 2019, will eliminate the use cyanide bombs and compound 1080 as predator poisons. Please co-sponsor H.R. 2471.

Sincerely,

Share

2 Responses to “Help Ban Predator Poisons”

  1. 1
    CAROL BOOTH Says:

    When will we learn that killing part of the life cycle is insane?

  2. 2
    Julia Bunn Says:

    Diversity of all species and the health of our environment for the livestock we will be consuming are so important. Stop this senseless use of unnecessary control. There are alternatives.

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