People do terrible things to animals sometimes in efforts to protect their homes and livelihood, forgetting that we share this earth with beautiful, wild creatures. For instance, gray wolves were driven nearly to extinction by hunters and now that their population has just recovered, people want to be able to legally kill them if they see them near their property. Other animals such as birds, including protected ones, are often poisoned in efforts to protect ‘livestock.’ It’s terrible, but there are even government-approved ways of killing wildlife deemed ‘pests.’ Currently, there are dangerous devices and poisonous chemicals being used, such as M-44s and Compound 1080. The problem is that children, pets, and wildlife not intended to be killed are dying because of these lethal weapons.
Some states, including Oregon have banned such weapons after Wildlife Services reported that “246,985 animals killed by M-44s from 2000 through 2016, including at least 1,182 dogs.” One case that made headlines was when a 14-year-old boy had to watch his 3-year-old Labrador retriever die after they accidentally touched an M-44, also known as a “cyanide bomb.” As Brooks Fahy says: “There is no safe place or way to use M-44s, as young children, pets, and wild animals do not understand warning signs. And there is virtually no place in the great outdoors that people and animals do not go. And it is only a matter of time before an M-44 kills a child. Meanwhile, science increasingly shows that lethal predator control is unnecessary and counter-productive.”
People and animals are also at risk of death from Compound 1080, an “odorless, tasteless, colorless and water-soluble poison” with no antidote. It’s so dangerous that it’s been classified as a potential weapon of terrorism by the FBI. These are placed on the collars of livestock to kill any predator that punctures them, but there is enough poison in one collar to kill six adults.
Representatives Peter DeFazio and Matt Gaetz introduced the Chemical Poisons Reduction Act of 2019, which would ban these chemicals and weapons nationwide! DeFazio said, “The unnecessary use of these deadly toxins by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Wildlife Services has led to countless deaths of family pets and innocent animals, as well as injuries to humans.” Gaetz added: “Cyanide bombs have no place on public land. These dangerous devices threaten animals and humans alike. Better—and more humane—predator-control tools and techniques already exist.”
To show your support for the Chemical Poisons Reduction Act, sign this petition urging Congress to take action and place the nationwide ban!
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