WCC Among 20 Environmental Groups to Demand Wildlife Services Ban M-44 Cyanide Bombs in Idaho
FEBRUARY 26, 2017 — Wolf OR-48 of the Shamrock wolf family was killed on private land in northeast Oregon after an “unintentional take” by the USDA’s Wildlife Services.
OR-48 was killed by one of the most lethal tools in Wildlife Services’ arsenal: an M-44 device (a.k.a. “cyanide bomb”) – a spring-loaded metal cylinder baited with scent that fires sodium cyanide powder into the mouth of whatever tugs on them.
The device was in place as part of Wildlife Services operations to control coyotes and prevent coyote-livestock conflict on private land in northeast Oregon. This operation is just part of a larger taxpayer-funded wildlife eradication campaign wherein Wildlife Services, on behalf of the federal government, slaughters millions of wild animals every single year.
Since the killing of wolf OR-48, there have been two separate incidents involving cyanide bombs administered by Wildlife Services. The poison killed three dogs and injured a 14-year-old Idaho boy is lucky to be alive.
Just 300 yards away from their home, the boy and his beloved dog encountered a cyanide bomb planted by Wildlife Services intended to control coyote activity. The boy survived the incident, but only to watch helplessly as the poison killed his dog.
In response to these events, on March 28, 2017, a coalition of wildlife and conservation groups (including the Wolf Conservation Center) petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Wildlife Services and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to immediately ban M-44 devices in Idaho.
The petition specifically calls on the agencies to:
Cease all use of M-44 explosive cyanide devices on all land ownerships in the State of Idaho, and
Immediately remove any and all M-44s currently deployed on all land ownerships in Idaho.
Since 2000, Wildlife Services has killed more than 50,000 members of more than 150 non-target species, including federally and/or state-protected animals such as Mexican gray wolves, grizzly bears, kangaroo rats, eagles, falcons, California condors, red-tailed hawks, great horned owls, armadillos, pronghorns, porcupines, long-tailed weasels, javelinas, marmots, snapping turtles, turkey vultures, great blue herons, ruddy ducks, sandhill cranes and ringtail cats.
Moreover, these lethal actions were paid for by tax-payers like you and me.