It was just a month ago that a cyanide bomb, set out by someone with the Department of Agriculture, killed a Pocatello, Idaho, family’s dog. According to the Idaho State Journal, the deadly device has been long used as “predator control,” but it instead killed a three-year-old Labrador retriever, and sickened a 14-year-old boy. On Monday, the USDA agency that places the traps, Wildlife Services, announced a moratorium on their use in Idaho.
The Washington Post reports Jason Suckow, theWildlife Services’ Western regional director, stated the agency has “ceased all use of” and removed the devices from all private, state and federal land in Idaho. He added that Wildlife Services would provide organizations 30 days’ notice before resuming use of the devices in the state. The devices have been used to kill coyotes.
It was Theresa Mansfield’s child who encountered the deadly device; the boy and his dog, Casey had not been far from home when a device that looked like a sprinkler head attracted the youngster’s attention. As soon as he touched it, the device exploded, spewing powder that sickened him and poisoned his dog to death.
After the tragic incident, a petition was filed by Western Watersheds Organization, citing that Casey wasn’t the first dog killed by the device and that it had been placed on federal land within one-quarter mile of three homes. USDA records indicate more than 200 feral dogs, 22 pets and livestock have been killed by the bombs since 2008. And although the Department of Agriculture claims the bombs have killed more than 100,000 coyotes, they have also killed protected species such as Mexican gray wolves, grizzly bears and California condors.
And this isn’t the end of the use of these indiscriminate bombs. United States Representative Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore) introduced a bill that would prohibit predator control methods that use sodium cyanide and Compound 1080 – the powders used in these traps now paid for by tax payers:
“It’s only a matter of time before they kill someone,” stated DeFazio.
Meanwhile the Mansfield family have launched their own petition demanding a federal ban – “Canyon’s Law.” So far the M-44 that killed Casey has left their son with headaches.
“The problem we have is that we have houses in every direction from where the device was placed,” stated Sheriff Detective Lt. Andy Thomas, who knows Casey was covered in the powder – in his eyes and on his arms and legs. The child could have died.
(Photo of cyanide trap via Bannock County Sheriff’s Office)
Read the previous story here.