Our campaign aims to stop the sale and use of products containing any of these six poisons.
We are currently petitioning state and federal agencies to suspend their use. You can help us take action against rodenticides.
Rebecca Dmytryk of Humane Wildlife Control and Wildlife Emergency Services appeared on the 6/28/20 KSCO Pet Radio program and spent five minutes talking about how next-generation rat poison kills wildlife.
Here is an edited transcript of her remarks (also available as a podcast):
Rebecca Dmytryk: “These are the rat poisons that you get at Home Depot, or wherever, and you put it in the house or under the house, or your pest control company comes and puts these bait stations out with poison in them.
“All that stuff is terrible for the environment. There are six particular poisons that we want to ban.
“They are: brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difethialone, difenacoum, diphacinone and chlorophacinone. My colleagues and I are trying to get all six banned in the state of California, at least.
“When animals eat these poisons, they bleed out. The animals hemorrhage from the inside out. That’s how it’s supposed to kill the rodents. Well, what happens is it’s just like DDT. You remember DDT? (Many or all young people will not).
“These rodenticides get into the mice and rats or gophers or ground squirrels, and then into whatever consumes them. It could be a dog, a housecat, or a hawk, a coyote, an eagle, or even a mountain lion.
“Like DDT, these poisons bioaccumulate in the animal’s liver, and they have half-lives of three months to nine months. That means those chemicals stay in these scavengers and predators, cats, the lions, the hawks, owls, and the others.
“These poisons stay in their livers, so they get another dose each time they eat another poisoned rodent. So now they’re magnifying the amount of poison in their livers.
“What research has shown is that some larger animals such as bobcats, mountain lions, and others can withstand a quantity of these hemorrhaging chemicals. The chemicals cause them to become immune-compromised.
Rat Poison Kills Wildlife
Then, usually, survivable conditions such as mange, ear mites, and others will take over. So now the animals are losing their hair, and they are itchy, and then they can’t hunt, and then they are starving to death.
“They come closer and closer to humans trying to get water, as they are now very, very sick.
“That’s when we find them. And unfortunately, the majority of the sick animals don’t survive. I had two calls in the last few Days tracking a bobcat off of Soquel-San Jose Road and another one in Morgan Hill. We picked up two other ones in Santa. Cruz County. And they have these rodenticides in their livers.
“So what we’re doing about this?
“We have a campaign going. We want people to add their names to our petition to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the California Environmental Protection Agency, and all these other leaders. We are asking them to please put a moratorium on the use of products containing these poisons until all the research is done.
“Even the EPA has said that particular research needs to be done, and it’s never been done since the 1990s.
“They’re also finding the chemicals in insects and snails. They are working through the environment, and here’s the thing: If it were an oil spill, we would have an emergency response, and we would hold the responsible party accountable.
“But you don’t see the damage as it is being done. Still, rat poison kills wildlife. And pets, too.
“If these poor poisoned animals were glowing, people would be up in arms about it. But this poisoning is silent. And it is so much like DDT. The parallels are incredible, so hopefully, people will go on and read our page and add their comments.
“Hopefully, we can get these things banned because they’re not necessary anyway. If you have a rodent problem, you just have to exclude them, which means closing up the holes around your house, or whatever it is you want to protect.”
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