The Trump administration has reauthorized the use of sodium cyanide in wildlife-killing devices called M-44s. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved use of these “cyanide bombs,” despite the fact that they inhumanely and indiscriminately kill thousands of animals every year. They have also injured people, temporarily blinding a child in Idaho in 2017.
The EPA opened a public comment period on its decision to renew sodium cyanide registration earlier this year. More than 99.9 percent of the comments urged it to ban M-44s.
The EPA did add some restrictions to M-44 use after environmental groups, including Guardians, raised concerns; for instance, it increased the distance the devices must be placed from a public road. Still, none of these restrictions will prevent wildlife that aren’t M-44s’ targets from succumbing to their deadly poison. Since the 1970s, the devices have killed more than 10,000 non-target animals, including dogs, bald eagles, marmots, hawks, black bears, wolves, mountain lions and bobcats.
Read the press release.