USDA Caves to Public Pressure, Agrees to Remove All Coyote/Wolf Cyanide Bombs in Idaho

(EnviroNews USA Headline News Desk) — Hailey, Idaho — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Wildlife Services (WS), which kills millions of wild animals in the U.S. each year, agreed April 10, 2017, to temporarily halt the use of M-44 cyanide bombs for predator control initiatives in Idaho. The decision was shared in a letter from Jason Suckow, Director of the Western Region of WS, with Erik Molvar, Executive Director of the Western Watersheds Project.

On March 28, alongside 19 other wildlife and conservation groups, the Western Watersheds Project spearheaded a petition demanding WS stop using M-44s, a.k.a. “cyanide bombs,” in Idaho. The petition was filed after a boy was sprayed with cyanide from an M-44 while his dog was painfully poisoned to death near Pocatello, Idaho.

M-44s are deadly ground-weapons that can be triggered to spray poison by any person or animal that encounters them. The aforementioned incident occurred on public land near the boy’s home despite the fact that WS had committed in 2106 to cease using cyanide bombs on all public lands in Idaho.

In yesterday’s dispatch, WS stated it has ceased the use of M-44s on all private, state, and federal lands in Idaho and has removed all remaining bombs. Suckow also wrote, “WS will notify you 30 days prior to placing any new M-44s in Idaho,” leading environmentalists to call for a permanent ban.

Molvar hailed the decision from WS as a temporary victory in a press release. “We thank Wildlife Services for doing the right thing by removing these deadly and indiscriminate killing devices, and urge them to make the moratorium permanent,” he said. Molvar further assures citizens that the Western Watersheds Project will notify them “right away” if the use of these poison bombs is reinstated.

A senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, Andrea Santarsiere, also hopes for more than a temporary ban and said, “there [is] no place for these devices where the lives of innocent people and animals will not be at risk.” The Center for Biological Diversity, alongside WildEarth Guardians, The Humane Society of the United States and The Fund for Animals filed a lawsuit against WS on April 4, seeking expanded restrictions on M-44s.

Also in March, Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) introduced the Chemical Poisons Reduction Act of 2017 (H.R. 1817), in an effort to ban the use of sodium cyanide along with another poison, Compound 1080, for predator control throughout the U.S.

OTHER ENVIRONEWS REPORTS ON CYANIDE BOMBS, COMPOUND 1080 AND WILDLIFE SERVICES

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