March 31, 2017
Online Messenger #348
In the wake of the poisoning death of a family dog near Pocatello and the hospitalization of the dog’s 14-year-old owner, WWP and our allies formally petitioned the highly secretive arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture known as Wildlife Services for an immediate ban on the use of M-44 devices in Idaho. Our petition has made nationwide news, with a radio story airing on the nationwide National Public Radio hourly newscasts.
The petition also asked for the immediate removal of all existing devices from the state. M-44s, also known as “cyanide bombs” and “coyote getters,” lead to the agonizing death of thousands of animals every year, many of them non-target animals.
It is unsafe and immoral for Wildlife Services to use these poisonous land mines to target native wildlife for killing on lands of any ownership. Our petition calls upon Wildlife Services to take action to eliminate these brutal and indiscriminate chemical weapons before more kids and pets get hurt.
In November Wildlife Services responded to pressure from conservation groups by publishing a decision that supposedly prevented the use of M-44s on public lands. Even so, the device that killed the Mansfield family dog Casey and injured young Canyon Mansfield had been installed on Bureau of Land Management land in February.
There is a long history of unintentional killing of pets and injuries to people that have resulted from the accidental triggering M-44s in residential areas and on public lands. And in a recent documentary, former Wildlife Services employees made public statements regarding the agency’s repeated and habitual flouting of regulations and common-sense safety practices.
The killing of native wildlife is morally reprehensible and there is no scientific basis for lethal control of native predators.
There ought to be a law against this outrageous practice! Rep. DeFazio (D-OR) has introduced legislation (H.R. 1817, the Chemical Poisons Reduction Act) that would permanently ban the use of M-44s and Compound 1080, a deadly poison Wildlife Services also uses against native predators. Call your representatives in Congress and tell them to support this important legislation!
WWP’s allies in petitioning for the statewide M-44 ban are Predator Defense, WildEarth Guardians, the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Clearwater, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Western Wildlife Conservancy, Nevada Wildlife Alliance, Gallatin Wildlife Association, Environmental Protection Information Center, the Wolf Conservation Center, Wilderness Watch, Klamath Forest Alliance, Northeast Oregon Ecosystems, Yellowstone to Uintas Connection, Footloose Montana, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Project Coyote, Voices of Wildlife, and the Mountain Lion Foundation.