----- Original Message -----
From: "BEKOFF MARC" <</span>Marc.Bekoff@colorado.edu>

Subject: Vets favor Predator Poisons!

From: Wendy Keefover-Ring <</span>wendy@sinapu.org>

I just learned from the EPA that the American Veterinary Medical

Association is in favor of M-44s!  Our loyal opposition has
increased.  Nevertheless, the AVMA's ability to get the comment
deadline extended to March 5th should benefit us as the
environmental, animal, and health communities have generated far
fewer letters than I would have anticipated.

I have updated the alert (below) for your group's usage and massive

distribution.  NOTE:  We are no longer allowed to email Joy
Schnackenbeck.  All comments must either be posted to the federal
register's website or mailed and received by March 5th.


ACTION OPPORTUNITY: The Environmental Protection Agency is taking

comments-whether to ban two highly lethal predator poisons, sodium
cyanide and Compound 1080 - these poisons are used to kill an average
of 1.6 animals every hour.

PLEASE SEND A LETTER BY MARCH 5th, 2008 to the EPA supporting the

petition to ban. (Sample comment letter and submission instructions

WHAT: A branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture called Wildlife

Services uses sodium cyanide and Compound 1080 to kill predators. But
the risks associated with these poisons are great and vastly outweigh
any benefits.

Both chemicals are biological warfare agents. The Nazis commonly used

sodium cyanide, and Compound 1080, a colorless, odorless, tasteless,
and water-soluble poison, is banned in several countries. Lethal
doses are very small, and the EPA labels both toxicants as Category
1, the highest level. For instance, the amount of toxic material
found in one livestock "protection collar" could kill between two and
six 150-pound people.

In January 2007, Sinapu and several conservation and health

organizations petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to
ban M-44 sodium cyanide capsules and Compound 1080 livestock
protection collars under federal law because they threaten wildlife
(including threatened or endangered species), people, and pets, and
pose a bioterrorism hazard.

Sodium Cyanide M-44s:

M-44s are spring-loaded devices topped with bait lures. When an
animal tugs on the bait, a spring sprays sodium cyanide powder into
the animal's mouth. The cyanide turns into gas once it mixes with
moisture from the mouth that is readily absorbed into the lungs.
After less than two minutes, a victim of an M-44 device dies.

      * Animals typically killed by M-44s include badgers, bears,

birds, bobcats, coyotes, foxes, dogs, opossums, marmots, raccoons,
ravens, ringtails, and skunks.

      * According to EPA records, five Wildlife Services employees and

at least five unsuspecting citizens people have been accidentally
exposed to sodium cyanide after triggering devices or coming into
contact with pets that had been exposed.

      * M-44s have also killed endangered species, such as California

condors and wolves.

Compound 1080 Livestock Protection Collars:

Compound 1080, banned in 1972 by President Richard Nixon, was
returned to use under the Reagan Administration for use in livestock
protection collars, which are rubber bladders that are strapped onto
the head of sheep or goats:

      * Compound 1080 is highly toxic to both birds and mammals.

Scavengers that feed on the head or neck area of dead sheep wearing
livestock protection collars are poisoned. Carcasses contaminated by
1080 must be handled as hazardous waste.

      * Death by 1080 is horrific, painful, and lengthy (usually

between 3 to 15 hours).

      * Livestock protection collars are problem-plagued. They are

often lost and they are easily punctured by trees, cacti, fences, or

These Poisons May Endanger All of Us:

Several audits by the Office of Inspector General found Wildlife
Services maintained sloppy inventory control of these highly lethal
agents and could not properly account for stockpiles. In November
2007, Wildlife Services itself admitted it had endured a "wake of
accidents" that involved "hazardous chemicals".

These poisons are not needed:

Predators kill a tiny fraction of the nation's livestock - many more
livestock die unintentionally from weather, birthing complications or
rustlers. Mammalian carnivores killed 0.18% of the total U.S. cattle
production in 2005, and 3% of the total sheep production in 2004. By
comparison nearly 4% of cattle and 5% of sheep died from non-predator
causes. Because these figures are so small, Wildlife Services cannot
justify the existence of these two poisons given the risks they pose.

There are a host of non-lethal controls such as fences, pens, sheds,

bells, guard animals, and electronic devices that are far more
practical and sustainable over the long term.


Sample Letter & Submission Instructions. Please individualize so your
letter will be counted!

1.  Go to
2.  Paste in  "hq-opp-2007-0944" under the blue "Comment or
Submission" tab and  click "go".
3.  A page will open that shows a series of "comment submitted
by . . . "
4.  Under each of these comments, you will see a line that says "send
a comment or submission" followed by a yellow bubble. Click on this
line or bubble. You will then see a screen that will allow you to
either enter or upload your comment.
5.  You may also mail to the address below -- the comment must be
received by March 5th.



Office of Pesticide Programs, Regulatory Public Docket (7502P)

Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460-0001

Re: Docket Number EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0944

To Whom it May Concern:

M-44s (sodium cyanide) and Compound 1080 should be banned. These

highly toxic substances pose an imminent hazard to people, wildlife
(including those species that are considered threatened and
endangered), and pets.

Despite the biological terror risks from Compound 1080 and sodium

cyanide, the agency charged with maintaining their inventories and
placing them in the field has had numerous documented problems with
their inventory control.  In November 2007, the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's Wildlife Services admitted that it had a "wake of
accidents" involving "hazardous chemicals", and the agency failed
several audits by the USDA Office of Inspector General.

Given that few predators actually even kill livestock each year and

that livestock growers have access to more effective, non-lethal
methods such as guard animals, sheds, pens, fences and electronic
devices to protect livestock, these poisons should be banned.
Chemical warfare is unneeded to protect livestock, and the risks they
pose are far too great.

Because these toxicants pose unreasonable hazards and risks, they

should be banned as predator poisons in the United States.