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California Agency Urged to Adopt Regulation to Protect Children, Pets and Wildlife from Toxic Rodent Poisons

Public comments to restrict deadly poisons sought through Oct. 4

Rat poisons are maiming and killing hundreds of unintended victims each year, including children and animals such as coyotes, foxes, bobcats, turkeys and even family cats and dogs. The Humane Society of the United States urges Californians to signal their support for restricting the availability and use of these deadly chemicals in the state.

A proposal to restrict the availability of these anticoagulant poisons to only licensed professionals is pending before the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Public comments are being accepted through Oct. 4.

Jennifer Fearing, California state director for The HSUS stated: “The pervasiveness of rat poisons in urban, suburban, rural and forested areas across California is alarming. Access to the most potent poisons must be significantly reduced to protect people, dogs and wildlife. The HSUS urges Californians to contact the CDPR today to urge support for this important, lifesaving regulation.”

These anticoagulant poisons cause painful and slow deaths for rodents and unintended victims. Animals, including family pets, eat poisoned bait intended for rodents, suffer immensely and die. Unintended victims of these anticoagulant rodenticides in California include a wide range of mammal and bird species, including some that are rare and endangered. Documented victims include:

  • Forty-four rare Pacific fishers, a candidate for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act.
  • Seventy-two San Joaquin kit foxes, a federally-listed Endangered Species.
  • Raptors are the most frequent documented victims. More than 150 are reported including hawks, owls, eagles, a kestrel, and vultures.

Among those joining The HSUS in the call for support of the regulation’s adoption include the Sacramento Bee editorial board and the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors.

Submit a supportive letter to the California Department of Pesticide Regulation to take action now.


  • The California Department of Pesticide Regulation issued notice of the proposed regulation on July 9.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a Notice of Intent to Cancel the registrations of these products. This notice was the first step in a federal process to remove these rodenticides from supermarkets, hardware and home supply stores – a process that could take years. California regulation will limit sales and use of second generation anti-coagulant rodenticides to licensed applicators.
  • Preventing problems with rats and mice by sealing cracks and holes where they gain entry, cleaning up trash attracting rats and mice and securing trash in sturdy, closed wildlife-proof containers, and live-trapping rodents to release outdoors are humane alternatives to toxic rodenticides for rodent abatement.
  • Watch “Raptor Blues,” a claymation video telling the story of secondary poisoning of raptors from rat poison in a way everyone can understand, made for California-based Raptors Are the Solution, by award-winning animator Ian Timothy.

Media Contact: Samantha Miller: 301-258-1417; smiller@humanesociety.org

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