The Center For Biological Diversity Sues California Pesticide Regulators To Protect Mountian Lions, Foxes & Many Other Species From Super-Toxic Rat Poisons

The Center for Biological Diversity submitted a formal notice of intent to sue California pesticide regulators for failing to protect endangered San Joaquin kit foxes, California condors and 11 other endangered species from “super-toxic” rat poisons.

More than 70% of wild animals tested in California in recent years have been exposed to dangerous rodenticides. That includes 85% of mountain lions and bobcats statewide and 87% of endangered kit foxes near Bakersfield.

Five years ago the California Department of Pesticide Regulation prohibited the sale of super-toxic rat poisons to the general public. But in light of ongoing harm to protected wildlife, recent legal action asks the state to extend that prohibition to agricultural users and licensed pest-control operators.

“We must put an end to the slow, painful deaths of wildlife from these reckless super-toxic poisons,” said Jonathan Evans, legal director of the Center’s environmental health program. “With safer alternatives on the market today, it’s time for California to prohibit these dangerous poisons.”

Harm to wildlife from rodenticide poisoning is widespread, especially from super-toxic rat poisons known as second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides. A 2018 state analysis documented these rat poisons in more than 85% of tested mountain lions, bobcats and protected Pacific fishers, prompting state regulators to open a new evaluation of whether to further restrict or ban the powerful toxic chemicals.

The endangered San Joaquin kit fox has been particularly hard hit by these rat poisons. In the Bakersfield area, more than 87% of kit foxes tested have been exposed to the toxic substances. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has attributed the deaths of at least five kit foxes to second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides.

“There’s no reason to leave the worst of the worst poisons on the market,” said Evans. “There are safe, cost-effective options readily available that don’t indiscriminately kill wildlife.”

Background
Anticoagulant rodenticides interfere with blood clotting, resulting in uncontrollable bleeding that leads to death. Super-toxic poisons include the second-generation anticoagulants brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difethialone and difenacoum, which are especially hazardous and persist for a long time in body tissues. Predators and scavengers that feed on poisoned rodents are frequently poisoned by these slow-acting rodenticides.

The harm caused by second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides in California is well documented. More than 70% of wildlife tested in California in recent years has been exposed to dangerous rodenticides, including more than 25 different species.

Effective, affordable alternatives to rat poison include rodent-proofing homes and farms by sealing cracks and crevices and eliminating food sources, as well as providing owl boxes in rural areas to encourage natural predation.

For more information on nontoxic rodent-control methods, CLICK HERE!

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