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January 31, 2013

The HSUS Praises EPA Action to Protect Kids, Pets and Wildlife from Highly Toxic Rodent Poisons

  • In addition to hundreds of children, nearly 4,000 pets are reported to be exposed to rodenticides each year - many suffering serious illness or death.   iStockphoto

The Humane Society of the United States applauds the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for banning the sale of 12 D-Con mouse and rat poison products made by Reckitt Benckiser Inc. because they fail to comply with EPA safety standards. The ban was announced Wednesday.

The EPA issued a Notice of Intent to Cancel the registrations of 12 D-Con products, and it is the first step toward removing the most toxic and dangerous rat and mouse poison products from the retail market. This will significantly reduce the use of the highly toxic so-called “second generation” anticoagulant poisons; It will also end the sale of loose pellet bait and require retail poison products to be sold as solid bait in tamper-resistant bait stations. These changes will greatly reduce the number of children, pets and wildlife injured or killed from accidental exposure to poison bait, and the number of wild animals injured or killed after consuming poisoned rodents and other animals.

In addition to hundreds of children, nearly 4,000 pets are reported to be exposed to rodenticides each year—many suffering serious illness or death. The vast majority of wildlife injured or killed by these poisons likely go unreported, but the poisoning cases that have been reported are sufficient for the EPA to conclude that residential use harms a variety of wildlife. Affected wildlife include: Many raptors (owls and hawks and golden and bald eagles), ravens, foxes (including endangered San Joaquin kit foxes), raccoons, crows, skunks, coyotes, bobcats, weasels, vultures, mountain lions, and even squirrels and deer have died from these poisons.

“The pervasiveness of rat poison in wild animals tested is alarming. Access to the most potent poisons must be significantly reduced to protect wild predators and scavengers,” said Maggie Brasted, wildlife policy associate for The HSUS.

Several manufacturers have developed safer rodent poison products during the last five years and offer products that meet EPA’s safety standards. Alternative non-poison methods for rodent control are often far less inhumane and just as effective.

Alternatives to poison:

  • Prevent problems with rats and mice by sealing up cracks and holes where they gain entry to homes and other buildings
  • Clean up trash that can attract rats and mice and secure trash in sturdy, closed wildlife-proof containers
  • Rodents can be live-trapped and released outdoors 

Media Contact: Pepper Van Tassell: 240-751-0232; pvantassell@humanesociety.org

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