Wildlife Advocates Seek Ban on 2 Poisons

This story is from the Sinapu blog.

Although the new effort to ban sodium cyanide and sodium monofluoroacetate is primarily motived by their dangers to non-target wildlife, pets, and people who get in the way, terrorists could hardly do better than get hold of the sodium cyanide capsules that are used in baited ejectors or sodium fluoroacetate (Compound 1080) used in sheep and goat collars.

There terrible tasteless and odorless poisons have long been controversial, and off and on since the terrorist attacks folks have tried to get them banned. A new petition to ban them has been filed with the EPA. They are distributed by the federal agency misnamed “Wildlife Services.”

In a true “war on terror” the demise of these chemicals would seem obvious, but except for maybe the first year, its been obvious to me that Bush’s “war on terror” is primarily an initiative to accomplish domestic Administration political objectives such as surveillance of the population, massive expenditures to political allies, intimidation, and hardly a defense against real terrorists at all.






  1. Jon Way Avatar

    Kudos to Sinapu! It is about time a group tries to make these poisons illegal. To have them legal during a supposed heightened (& extended) terrorist period is crazy.

  2. kt Avatar

    What is really alarming, too, is that M-44s are in the hands of Wildlife Services that cloaks its operations in as much secrecy as it can possbley get away with.

    Many of the APHIS coyote, badger, mountain lion and other killers are joined at the hip with the public lands livestock industry. You have to wonder, too, about the psycho tendencies of persons who make a career out of killing native wildlife (including the barbaric practice of denning – throwing poison gas containers into coyote dens to kill coyote pups). Sure, some of them may be “stable”, but I am betting that there are some serious weird streaks in some of them.

    As an agency biologist in Nevada ooncesaid to me “you feel dirty just being around some of these guys”.

    Extracting ANY real information from APHIS about what it is doing is very difficult, even for land management agencies. I believe (at least this was true a couple of years ago) that basically BLM or Forest personnel have one annual meeting with APHIS about their general activities, but data is presented so broadly – like number of kills in the Southwest quarter of a County, that you can’t tell what is really going on. They claim secrecy about their killing is required to protect ranchers from public harassment. There is supposed to be more notification and interaction with use of M-44s, but the general pall of secrecy around the agency discourages openness and honesty.

    Idaho’s politicians are completely in league with love APHIS. Mike Crapo, who is frequently portrayed in the media in a positive environmental light due to his espousing the “collaboration” of the Owyhee Initiative, and really not other environmental reasons given his voting record, hired an APHIS coyote killer to be his chief environemntal aid in Idaho, and also serve as liaison with the Owyhee Initiative giveaway of public lands to ranchers.

  3. Jon Way Avatar

    If the Democrats are true to their word about turning the nation around, they need to cut off public funding for predator control which would stop having us (the public) pay for predator control including the 80,000 coyotes killed per year, most of them on public lands (including 30,000 gunned down from airplanes/helicopters). That far outsurpasses the 200 or so wolves killed privately in Alaska in recent years, yet we pay for the 30,000 coyotes (and other animals). Get rid of that public funding.

  4. Wendy Keefover-Ring Avatar

    I appreciate the informed discussion. If you’re interested in reading the petition, you can download it:



Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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