US President Donald Trump’s administration has re-authorized the use of controversial poison traps known as “cyanide bombs” to kill wild foxes, coyotes and feral dogs despite overwhelming opposition from conservation groups.
The devices, known as M-44s, which are implanted in the ground and resemble lawn sprinklers, use a spring-loaded ejector to release sodium cyanide when an animal tugs on its baited capsule holder.
The government halted the use of the devices last year after one of them was responsible for injuring a boy and killing his dog in Idaho.
The family has also filed a case against the federal government.
The decision to re-instate their use was announced in the Federal Register earlier this week, and met with outrage by environmental groups that led a campaign to flood the Environmental Protection Agency with more than 20,000 letters.
“They’re incredibly dangerous to people, their pets and endangered wildlife, they’re just too risky to be used,” Collette Adkins, carnivore conservation director for the Center for Biological Diversity, told AFP on Thursday.
“The livestock industry wants it,” she said, adding that agriculture industry groups sent about 10 comments in favor of re-authorizing M-44s to the EPA.
According to government data, M-44s killed 6,579 animals in 2018, including more than 200 “nontarget” animals including opossums raccoons, skunks and a bear.
“These numbers probably significantly under-estimate the true death toll since Wildlife Services is notorious for poor data collection and an entrenched ‘shoot, shovel, shut up’ mentality,” the Center for Biological Diversity said in a statement.
The EPA did add certain new restrictions, including that devices may not be placed within 100 feet of a road, and that warning are still required to be placed within 15 feet of the device — though this would not reduce deaths of non-target wildlife.
Adkins said her organization would continue to lobby for state-level bans, the latest of which was passed by Oregon in May.
US embassy warned Ukrainians to ‘stay out’ of American politics : David Holmes testimony
The House Intelligence Committee on Monday released explosive testimony from diplomat David Holmes.
Holmes, the political counselor at the embassy, testified about the "meddling" by Donald Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
"I guess I would say that Giuliani was sort of meddling in Ukrainian affairs by asking them to open an investigation that would—could be perceived as meddling in U.S. politics," Holmes testified.
Mike Pompeo called Sean Hannity and demanded he back up his allegations against Ukraine ambassador: report
On Monday, the transcript of the testimony from foreign service officer David Hale was released to the public. And one of the most startling moments from the transcript was a claim that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called up Fox News host Sean Hannity and demanded he back up the claims he was making against former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch:
Reading through the David Hale testimony now, as one does when this is now their life, and apparently Sec. Pompeo called Sean Hannity and told him to produce evidence of the stuff he was saying about Amb. Marie Yovanovitch pic.twitter.com/d34iZrxBtG
Trump’s ‘thuggish’ demands his aides lie for him blasted by CNN analyst: ‘The president operates like he’s a king’
On Monday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," CNN analyst Kirsten Powers blasted President Donald Trump for his "thuggish" insistence that his aides help him conceal his own wrongdoing.
"Kirsten, it will be interesting to see how the president decides to conduct himself this week, whether or not, you know, he continues to tweet against witnesses or about witnesses as they are testifying," said Cooper.
"Yeah. Why wouldn't he keep doing what he always does?" said Powers. "He seems incapable of not doing that. And I do think this moving people, punishing people, right, for testifying under oath and telling the truth, I think it's thuggish. It really is. It's beyond inappropriate, in the sense that the president operates like he's a king, basically. Like these people are supposed to go up there and lie. They've been called before Congress. They're telling the truth. They should not be punished for that. They work for the U.S. government, which is something that is actually bigger than Donald Trump."