Poisoning is a horrific way to die. The last moments of life are cursed with dizziness, convulsions or excruciating pain. For the lucky few, death comes within minutes -- but far too often, it's a slow and agonizing spiral that can take hours.
Each year, the Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services kills more than 10,000 wild animals with highly toxic sodium cyanide and sodium monofluoroacetate (known as Compound 1080) -- and many of these poisonings occur on federal land.
You can help stop the use of these toxic chemicals on our wildlife. Act now to urge the Environmental Protection Agency to ban these deadly poisons. We'll deliver your message by the November 22nd deadline.
Sodium cyanide and sodium monofluoroacetate are considered to be some of the deadliest toxins known to humanity.
Yet, Wildlife Services, a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), regularly uses these two poisons to kill coyotes and other predators. In 2009, the two poisons killed an average of 1.5 animals every hour. In many instances, these deadly poisons are deployed on public lands.
But these poisons don't just threaten their intended targets. They can also poison any threatened or endangered species, people or pets that happen to come into contact with them.
Sodium cyanide is used in M-44 trigger traps, which kill more than 10,000 animals each year, including domesticated dogs and a whole host of other non-target species including kit foxes, ringtails, javelinas, and swift foxes. M-44s have also killed California condors and wolves.
Compound 1080 is classified as a chemical weapon in several countries. It is deployed in poison collars placed on sheep and goats and is highly toxic to birds and mammals.
Carcasses with Compound 1080 must be handled as hazardous waste and, if ingested, can kill wolves and other animals. Compound 1080 has even been used to illegally kill wolves and people's pets.
The continued availability of these poisons poses a threat to people, pets and homeland security. Government reports have concluded that Wildlife Services has been unable to account for stockpiles of the toxins, which leaves the hazardous materials vulnerable to undetected theft and unauthorized use.
There are effective alternatives to these poisons, including a wide range of proactive, nonlethal methods for protecting livestock such as fencing, guard animals, fladry, non-lethal ammunition and improved animal husbandry.
For the safety of our people, our pets and our wildlife, I strongly urge you to ban the use of sodium cyanide and Compound 1080.
Thank you for considering my comments.