‘Cyanide Bombs’: US Says It’s ‘OK’ to Kill Wild Animals With Poison


Cyanide bombs have just been approved by the EPA to help cull wild animals on public land.

Even though there was incredible public opposition, Trump and his administration have just re-approved the sale and use of ‘cyanide bombs’ to murder wild animals that ‘trespass’  on public lands.

Collette Adkins, chief conservation director at the Center for Biological Diversity stated that the devices (officially known as M-44s) “can’t be used safely by anyone, anywhere.” She noted that these devices don’t discriminate between their target animal and anything else alive. The devices claim the lives of coyotes, foxes, bears, and all kinds of family pets.

Newsweek reported that the announcement was filed in the Federal Register. This authorizes the use of the so called cyanide bombs on “an interim basis—until a final decision can be made in 2021.”

The Center for Biological Diversity state that the device is authorized for use by Wildlife Services (a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture) and by some state agencies in states such as South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico, and Texas

Animal welfare and conservation groups often criticize the way Wildlife Services operate—

The program states that their mission is “to resolve wildlife conflicts to allow people and wildlife to coexist.” Many don’t agree however and critics such as the Humane Society say it “has shown a preference for lethal methods in resolving conflicts” and has been “exterminating wildlife as a government subsidy for private ranchers and other special interests, using inhumane and ineffective methods, while the U.S. taxpayers foot a large share of the bill.”

Agence France-Presse reported:

“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.”

BBC News added:

“But the EPA has decided they are still safe for use, after support from rancher groups and ‘stakeholders’ including farmers groups.”

“It said that the cyanide bombs stopped predators from killing livestock and that a ban would result in farmers losing money.”

The Center for Biological Diversity, in a tweet, called M-44s “horrific death traps.”

The Center for Biological Diversity and Western Environmental Law Center analyzed a selection of more than 22,000 public comments after the EPA proposed their reinstatement earlier in 2019.

The level of controversy over the subject is cleat to see said the group. The public are rightfully outraged with 99.9 percent of people supported a ban on the deadly cyanide bombs.

The conservation group also highlighted data collected by Wildlife Services’ that showed that out of almost 6,600 animals it killed in 2018, over 200 were non-target animals – this death toll is most likely far lower than the real figure.

Kelly Nokes, a wildlife attorney with the Western Environmental Law Center said:

“EPA is blatantly ignoring its fundamental duty to protect the public, our pets, and native wildlife from the cruel, lethal impacts of cyanide bombs lurking on our public lands…”

Restrictions were added by EPA however. These include an increase of the amount of space between public highways and the device, and also the distance between warning signs and the device. These changes have done very little to ease conservation groups’ concerns.

Brooks Fahy, executive director of Predator Defense stated:

“Tightening up use restrictions is turning a blind eye to the reality of M-44s.”

“In my 25 years working with M-44 victims I’ve learned that Wildlife Services’ agents frequently do not follow the use restrictions. And warning signs will not prevent more dogs, wild animals, and potentially children from being killed. They cannot read them.”

“M-44s are a safety menace, and must be banned.”

Matt Orwell
Matt is a renowned journalist, activist, and life guru. A passionate writer and freethinker, Matt is awake to the reality that really molds us. By using his plethora of experience and knowledge, he is able to connect to the world, providing valuable insights and reporting in hope of creating a more informed, more sustainable, and more awake planet.

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