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US EPA Reauthorizes Use of 'Dangerous' 'Cyanide Bombs' That Kill Thousands of Animals Every Year

15:35  06 december  2019
15:35  06 december  2019 Source:   newsweek.com

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The Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA ) has reauthorized the use of " cyanide bomb " chemical traps as a method for killing wild animals .

Trump administration reauthorizes use of " cyanide bombs " to kill wild animals . The Environmental Protection Agency has recently reauthorized the use of controversial M-44s are horrific death traps full of cyanide that kill thousands of unsuspecting animals every year , even pets.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that it will reauthorize the use of sodium cyanide in wildlife-killing devices known as M-44s, or "cyanide bombs."

a pile of dirt: Dead wolf or coyote near POISON sign in New Mexico in 2016.© Center for Biological Diversity Dead wolf or coyote near POISON sign in New Mexico in 2016.

The devices are designed to kill certain animals for predator control purposes. They use a smelly bait to lure in wildlife before releasing deadly sodium cyanide into the mouth of any animal that takes a bite.

But critics say that the traps "inhumanely and indiscriminately" kill thousands of animals every year, posing a danger to endangered species, domestic pets and even humans.

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The Trump administration has reauthorized the use of controversial traps dubbed “ cyanide bombs ” to kills coyotes, foxes and other animals across the US. The spring-loaded devices, which have killed more than wild animals since they were first introduced in the 1960s, have been blasted as inhumane.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has begun reauthorizing " cyanide bombs " used as chemical traps to kill predatory animals , despite backlash from environmental groups.

In a statement published on Thursday, the EPA announced a "revised interim decision on sodium cyanide that includes new requirements to ensure continued safe use of the device." But campaigners have described these restrictions as "minor" and limited.

"This appalling decision leaves cyanide traps lurking in the wild to threaten people, pets and imperiled animals," Collette Adkins, carnivore conservation director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. "The EPA imposed a few minor restrictions, but these deadly devices have just wreaked too much havoc to remain in use. To truly protect humans and wildlife from these poisonous contraptions, we need a nationwide ban."

The M-44s are used by Wildlife Services—a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agency that kills millions of animals every year using a variety of methods, ostensibly to protect livestock, according to the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD).

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Despite strong opposition from environmentalists and others, the federal Environmental Protection Agency announced this past week that it had reauthorized the use of spring-loaded poison devices known as “ cyanide bombs ” to kill coyotes, foxes and other animals that prey on livestock.

The federal agency said it was re-evaluating the use of the M-44 poison devices, which are used to kill thousands of coyotes and foxes. The federal Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday withdrew its support for the continued use of so-called cyanide bombs to protect livestock from

The spring-loaded traps are also authorized for use by state agencies in South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico and Texas.

The USDA's own data suggests that these spring-loaded traps killed 6,579 animals in 2018—the majority of which were coyotes and foxes. At least 200 of these deaths were non-target animals—such as bears, skunks and opossums—although the real figure is likely higher, the CBD says, accusing the agency of poor data collection. According to Adkins, M-44s are dangerous to wildlife and harmful to ecosystems.

"Numerous endangered species have been killed by the devices, as anything that tugs on [them] will be shot with the poison," Adkins said in a statement provided to Newsweek. "The animals targeted by cyanide bombs—canids like wolves, coyotes and foxes—play important ecosystem roles as top carnivores, controlling prey populations. For example, coyotes control rodents that spread disease and damage crops."

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The Environmental Protection Agency decided this week that on an interim basis, Wildlife Services officials can once again use M-44s — spring-loaded traps filled with sodium cyanide — to kill wildlife in the United States. Wildlife Services is part of the Department of Agriculture, and reported last year

The Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA ) has reauthorized the use of controversial devices known as M-44s, or " cyanide bombs ," which are designed to kill certain animals for predator control purposes. The devices use a smelly bait to lure in wildlife before releasing deadly sodium cyanide

Furthermore, the traps pose a risk to humans and their pets, with several recorded instances of people being harmed, Adkins said.

"In 2017, an Idaho teenager, Canyon Mansfield, hiking with his dog on the hill behind his home was temporarily blinded and watched his dog die after he grabbed an unmarked device," Adkins said.

In August, the EPA announced that it would reauthorize the use of the traps on an interim basis—albeit with certain restrictions that were put in place in response to pressure from environmental groups. But just a week later, the EPA withdrew this decision to hold further discussions with Wildlife Services on the most appropriate language for the M-44 labels. Thursday's decision now reauthorizes the use of the devices on an interim basis again.

As part of the reauthorization, the EPA has added some new restrictions. For example, the traps cannot be placed within 600 feet of a residence—unless the property owner has given written permission—or 300 feet from designated public paths and roads. The latter restriction is an increase from 100 feet.

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Related: US will temporarily halt use of cyanide bombs to kill Colorado wildlife. Why now? In 2018, the EPA proposed to return to the use of sodium cyanide but waited Those against the devices cited the dangers to residential areas and ecological concerns. With the reauthorization of the devices, the

The Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA ) has reauthorized the use of " cyanide bomb " chemical traps as a method for killing wild animals , according to CBS News. The controversial traps, which can be used on coyotes, dogs, foxes and other wild animals across the country, have been in use since

Furthermore, the new interim decision requires that the traps must be accompanied by two elevated warning signs within 15 feet, which face in the two most likely directions of approach. Currently, only one sign is required at a distance of 25 feet from the device.

However, critics say that these kinds of restrictions will do little to mitigate the risks posed by these devices and fails to meaningfully address the problem.

"None of the restrictions will prevent non-target wildlife deaths," Adkins said. "We know from past experience that buffers and signs don't work: 1) these restrictions are often not followed—as in the Mansfield case where the device was illegally placed and without a sign; and 2) these restrictions don't eliminate the harm—people and dogs stray from the path when hiking and a couple of signs won't be visible from all directions or can blow over, et cetera."

Meanwhile, Cathy Liss, president of the Animal Welfare Institute, said in a statement: "The EPA's minor revisions do little to reduce the risks sodium cyanide bombs pose to people, fail entirely to address risks to wildlife, including endangered species, and make clear the agency is prioritizing livestock interests over human safety and the environment. The simple solution to preventing further tragedies caused by these inherently dangerous devices is a nationwide ban."

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The Environmental Protection Agency has recently reauthorized the use of controversial Wildlife Services kills large numbers of wild animals every year on behalf of farmers and ranchers. M-44s are horrific death traps full of cyanide that kill thousands of unsuspecting animals every year , even

(CNN) — The US Environmental Protection Agency has begun reauthorizing “ cyanide bombs ” used as chemical traps to kill predatory animals , despite backlash from environmental groups. The EPA released its Interim Registration Review Decision from June, announcing that it is moving

Campaigners say that such a ban would have the overwhelming support of the public. An analysis conducted by the CBD and Western Environmental Law Center found that more than 99.9 percent of the roughly 22,400 people who submitted comments regarding the previous proposal to reauthorize cyanide bombs asked the EPA to ban them.

Following the Mansfield incident, the state of Idaho imposed a moratorium on the use of M-44s on public lands. Meanwhile, the state of Oregon passed legislation this year banning them in the state. Furthermore, a federal court also recently approved a ban on the use of M-44s by Wildlife Services across more than 10 million acres of public land in Wyoming—the result of an agreement that followed a lawsuit brought by the CBD and other advocacy groups.

Supporters of the use of M-44s, such as the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA,) say that the traps play an important role in protecting livestock.

"NASDA appreciates the EPA's continued steps to prioritize public safety and support American ranchers, as M-44 is an essential tool for guarding our nation's livestock," NASDA CEO Barbara Glenn said in a statement accompanying yesterday's EPA announcement. "NASDA members hold highly the responsibility of ensuring the viability of American ranches, therefore, improved guidelines for safety measures are always welcomed."

But according to Adkins, there are safer alternatives that will also be more effective in achieving this aim.

"Killing of wildlife for conflicts with wildlife rarely works because other animals move into the vacant territories and begin breeding," she said. "Instead, prevention is key, using methods like guard dogs, fencing, flashing lights etc. to deter predators. If the predator must be killed, it is better to use a more targeted method like shooting, rather than indiscriminately killing with a poison."

"We're not giving up our fight. We'll continue to push for state and federal legislation to ban cyanide bombs," she said.

The EPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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