Trump administration re-authorizes 'cyanide bombs' to kill wildlife

A coyote pup pants while taking cover under a side rail on the side of the road during 108-degree heat as the Carr fire rages on
A coyote pup pants while taking cover under a side rail on the side of the road during 108-degree heat as the Carr fire rages on near Whiskeytown, California on July 27, 2018

US President Donald Trump's administration has re-authorized the use of controversial poison traps known as "cyanide bombs" to kill wild foxes, coyotes and feral dogs despite overwhelming opposition from conservation groups.

The devices, known as M-44s, which are implanted in the ground and resemble lawn sprinklers, use a spring-loaded ejector to release sodium cyanide when an animal tugs on its baited capsule holder.

The government halted the use of the devices last year after one of them was responsible for injuring a boy and killing his dog in Idaho.

The family has also filed a case against the .

The decision to re-instate their use was announced in the Federal Register earlier this week, and met with outrage by that led a campaign to flood the Environmental Protection Agency with more than 20,000 letters.

"They're incredibly dangerous to people, their pets and endangered wildlife, they're just too risky to be used," Collette Adkins, carnivore conservation director for the Center for Biological Diversity, told AFP on Thursday.

"The livestock industry wants it," she said, adding that agriculture industry groups sent about 10 comments in favor of re-authorizing M-44s to the EPA.

According to government data, M-44s killed 6,579 animals in 2018, including more than 200 "nontarget" animals including opossums raccoons, skunks and a bear.

"These numbers probably significantly under-estimate the true death toll since Wildlife Services is notorious for poor data collection and an entrenched 'shoot, shovel, shut up' mentality," the Center for Biological Diversity said in a statement.

The EPA did add certain new restrictions, including that devices may not be placed within 100 feet of a road, and that warning are still required to be placed within 15 feet of the device—though this would not reduce deaths of non-target wildlife.

Adkins said her organization would continue to lobby for state-level bans, the latest of which was passed by Oregon in May.


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Citation: Trump administration re-authorizes 'cyanide bombs' to kill wildlife (2019, August 9) retrieved 24 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-08-trump-administration-re-authorizes-cyanide-wildlife.html
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Aug 09, 2019
Why doesn't it surprise me that Trump wants to chuck cyanide bombs at wildlife?
I cannot help but think he is doing this pure just to spite the environmentalists who he delusionally believes are all communists trying for some unknown inexplicable reason to doom and/or oppress all US Americans as part of a world wide anti-Christ communist conspiracy.

Aug 09, 2019
I cannot help but think he is doing this pure just to spite the environmentalists


I to am against these bombs but I am smart enough to know the people that are doing it think it is best. You are so focused in your hate for a person you can not be objective.

Aug 09, 2019
You are so focused in your hate for a person you can not be objective.
No hate. Just an observation of his general character being similar to that of a few people that I have observed (over the internet forums) expressing such strange beliefs. I find it humorous rather than a hate-thing.

Aug 09, 2019
If the use of these devices is only by licensed persons with permits, insurance etc, the risk is minimized. Wild animal control is a real issue for country-dwelling people and having lots of different management tools improves control.

Aug 09, 2019
Land mines are banned too, and for much the same reason. They are both indiscriminate. I'm surprised the judge in the lawsuit brought in Idaho didn't issue a restraining order.

Aug 10, 2019
Although I do not like the use of cyanide on innocent animals, I find it hard to believe that Trump's is the only administration that has authorized its use. We know it isn't as the practice has been reauthorized. So not sure why Trump hate is being expressed. And, hate it is. There is not one thing humorous about it.

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