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M44 (Cyanide Device) (wikipedia.org)
70 points by onetimemanytime on Aug 9, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 22 comments

I live in Idaho. A couple years ago a boy and his dog where walking in the foothills near their house and ran into one. It killed the dog and nearly killed the kid. These are a terrible idea. They should especially never be placed so close to a city like it was in this case.

> In 2017 a 14-year-old boy in Idaho was injured, and his dog killed, by an M44 near his home.[12] On April 11, 2017, a month after the 14-year-old boy in Idaho was injured, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that it would be ending the use of the device in Idaho indefinitely.[14]

Part of what makes these devices so terrifying is how fast-acting cyanide is. Direct exposure can kill within seconds -- if a child or pet triggers one of these devices, they may be dead before anyone can react, let alone before treatment is possible.

Similar devices have been used with sodium fluoroacetate ("1080") in Australia, which is even worse in some ways -- sodium fluoroacetate is less immediately lethal, but there is no known antidote.

Let's also ban bug bombs. Maybe canned raid too. Ever get that stuff in your face? Hooo boy. Cant have that now can we

Do you often find raid attacking people in the wild?

This is valid sarcasm.

I highly recommend the book Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History by Dan Flores. I had no idea of what coyotes went through in the recent history in America.

Thank you! Flores is excellent, I loved Caprock Canyonlands, but I'd never heard of this book.

This is presumably here because the Trump Administration just reauthorized their use: https://www.ktvq.com/news/national-news/trump-administration...

(Editing, I wrote from memory and wasn't quite right.)

There's evidence that suggests[1] that efforts to control Coyote populations by killing them off are less effective than we thought - as the Coyote population drops in one area it creates a vacuum filled by coyotes from another area + increased reproduction, resulting in areas that underwent "coyote control" having spent a lot of time/money/effort and being back where they started at the end of it.

I can't verify a word of this, but I found the possibility interesting.

(I'm generally against any indiscriminate traps like these. I'm fine with hunting coyotes, but a device like this is too much of a risk to non-coyotes - as other commenters have already pointed out.)

1. https://www.npr.org/2019/06/14/730056855/killing-coyotes-is-...

Why shouldn't someone be able to place these on their own property? Sure it creates a coyote vacuum but by definition said vacuum has less coyotes in it than the surrounding area. You then only have to deal with the ones that show up rather than an entire population. These seem useful for people who raise chickens and other small livestock that would be very attractive to coyotes. Obviously they need to be used carefully, like anything else that's designed specifically to be poisonous but these seem safer and more targeted than leaving out a dead varmint that's been laced with poison.

The original wikipedia article is about their use by the government on public lands, not their use by citizens on private property. The original article also has a list of cases where these devices have accidentally harmed humans and pets. If that's happening I assume it's also killing animals other than coyotes but there's no one to document those events. That's why I call them indiscriminate.

Regarding private property, what guarantees that people will remove these when they move? Or remember where they put them? I remember finding old school traps on my parent's land growing up, left there by a previous owner. Most were not loaded or rusted beyond operation, but some still snapped when you hit them with a stick. From the pictures, I'm not sure I'd spot one of these devices while running around in the woods...

Why shouldn't someone be able to place these on their own property?

For the same reason I'm not allowed to duct-tape a shotgun to a chair and tie the trigger to my doorknob.

That’s what the law calls a “mantrap” if anyone wants to do more homework.

Re-authorization document: https://www.eenews.net/assets/2019/08/08/document_gw_05.pdf

"The grower groups emphasized the economic losses associated with predators killing livestock and reiterated their position that M-44 devices were an important tool for protection from coyotes."

If I understand it correctly it's not really "reauthorized"---the devices have always been approved, but in 2017 an environmental group submitted a petition to the EPA to de-approve them and now the EPA has declined that petition.

Yp! Read the news and as most of you drilled deeper. Never this device existed....

Similar devices and approaches to species specific killing are highly important in environments like NZ and parts of Australia where introduced invasive predators are killing vulnerable native species.

Sounds like a very bad idea.


Not sure what kind of substance you're looking for here... Is it not obvious why planting cyanide bombs in public accessible places is a bad idea?


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