HAILEY, Idaho– In the wake of the poisoning death of a family dog near Pocatello and the hospitalization of the dog’s 14-year-old owner, a coalition of conservation and wildlife organizations today formally petitioned (https://www.westernwatersheds.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/WS-M-44-APA-petition-final-1.pdf) 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.
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 nontarget animals.
“Clearly, 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,” said Erik Molvar, Executive Director of Western Watersheds Project. “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.