According to the article, they’re nowhere near that level of notification. They certainly didn’t notify the local emergency response personnel, which is just negligent.
These things have the same failure mode as landmines: If forgotten, they might kill some random person years later, and at that point, locating and removing them costs orders of magnitude more than placing them.
At the very least, there needs to be a public map of where these things are, and an 5-10’ ring of signs at eye level around each one.
The tiny sign they place at ground level on top of the trap could easily be lost or overlooked, and it won’t inform people with pets to stay out of the area until it’s too late.
They shouldn't be allowed to use them, period.
A nationwide ban is insufficient. Let's seize 100% of the makers assets to pay for removal and any claims starting with the kid they already poisoned.
If not they are profiting while the people pay for the externalities.
That said, the simple reality is that managing native species and how they interact with society has to be done. Whether it's suburban coyotes killing off family pets (a big problem in my suburb at the moment) or rural clashes between ranchers and wolves, you cannot just let the situation unfurl without official intervention. Allowing civilians to handle it results in endangerment and extinction, and refusing to handle it results in ecological damage and risk to both people and livestock.
Now, if the only point is that better training and communication protocols for these Federal employees is in order, sure I buy that for basically every Federal department. Making out like FWS is some pet-assassinating Kremlin is pretty low-effort clickbait. The reason nobody's heard of them is because nobody much cares about what does or doesn't happen to coyotes and deer until it impacts them.
I don't think anyone is arguing for wildlife control to completely stop. But people seem genuinely scared of these M44 ("cyanide bombs") devices that seemingly is placed both on public and private properties without any notifications to people around. The article uses the example of a family who had one of those devices planted near their house, eventually killing their dog and poisoning their kid.
Seems absolutely bananas that someone can plant devices like that without any notifications, and sleep well at night. What a absolute clusterfuck of a blunder.
Placing one in a publicly accessible place without even notifying the people living in the nearest homes? Failing to notify occupants of permanent residences in the area shows there was no meaningful attempt at all to notify the public.
What makes you think this isn’t allowing civilians to handle it? The idea that this is helping rests on that. If it doesn’t, it falls apart.
Civilians don’t even know this program exists! That’s part of the problem. If a non-law-abiding rancher gets mad he pulls out his gun and shoots a coyote - and there are lots of those. Maybe he doesn’t very much in 2020, because of education programs. But should this program get the credit?
For what you said to be true, you have to prove that these cyanide bombs are effectively controlling populations that need to be controlled - a huge stretch and exactly the claim that should be demonstrated by any defense.
It may not be controlling coyotes (vs something that doesn’t need to be controlled, like skunks).
It may be controlling some coyotes, but not enough to make a difference.
It may be controlling coyotes but actually worse than angry farmers would have - killing them without rhyme or reason, instead of after an offense.
This doesn’t look like a smart program that weighed the pros and cons and then went ahead with deployment judiciously.
It seems questionable and dumb, which is why it’s also kind of a secret (often a very reliable tell).
Note that there are no university professors or believable experts saying, “this is a good program with a lot of data behind it.” If there is good science to be seen, it seems suspiciously hard to access.
It’s okay to be skeptical, dismissive even, of bad decisions without good data behind them- and it looks like that’s what we are seeing here.
Pretty sure it's legal to shoot a coyote on your own property, as long as you're not in a densely populated area.
If you can't even vaguely guarantee it won't kill people (e.g. on private land at least an accidental baseball-over-the-fence distance away from the perimeter) your approach is most definitely illegal and you should be held accountable, and your agency's dealings revised.
I'd rather pay someone that can handle a rifle to hunt whatever needs killing -- as opposed to the cyanide bomb method that could (as outlined in the article) do more harm than good.
Given that nobody wants to pay what it'd cost to do invasive/native species control with a fleet of professionals shooting things one at a time (even for species where that's theoretically an option), worse alternatives are often used.
Even if the program is effective at control, it doesn't leap out at me that the attained benefit surpasses the risks and costs.
This is completely backwards. The solution to cats not being at the top of the local food chain is not to kill anything that would eat them, but to end their participation in the food chain. That cats aren't an apex predator is a good thing, because the destruction of native species they accomplish isn't enough to motivate their owners to keep them inside.
The primary discussion here isn't about managing species, it's whether or not it's acceptable to plant a bomb 300ft from someone's house without informing the residents.
You can scare them away easily (dogs are generally skittish) but they'll come back.
I've also learned that some people are completely unreasonable when it comes to their pets, basically believing that "it's just a dog" and you're the asshole if you can't handle it being on your property.
Usually with other species like bears or wolves, you are only supposed to shoot them if they actually attack livestock (and sometimes not even then).
Who wants feral hogs?
I wonder if the one that killed that dog had a sign.
The people in the article were unaware that one of these devices was placed a few hundred feet from their property. The signage on these devices also seem to be very small. I'm wondering if medical services are given any training or a heads up when these devices are placed. Cyanide poisoning is not the most common thing and I'm wondering how quickly medical services would recognize it.
These devices also seem to contain a large amount of sodium cyanide (880 mg). This is definitely enough cyanide to kill a child and even some adults. Though it seems like the release mechanism would make it difficult for a person to actually ingest all of the cyanide.
This seems like a really bad idea. I would be furious if anyone put that thing 350ft from my house.
EDIT - After doing a bit more research on these mechanisms I feel a bit better knowing they are triggered by animals biting and pulling on the cloth portion to release the poison (I still don't like these devices). I was concerned it was more proximity based. They do appear to be tagged with a bright colored warning label on the device itself.
I don't see how a cyanide bomb intended to kill wild animals protects the environment. Those wolves are native species and part of the environment. Killing them is hurting the environment, definitionally. And given that these bombs don't strategically kill invasive species and are just as if not more likely to kill native species, then I don't see any reasonable claim that these are protecting the environment.
This is simply another case of regulatory capture where the government is helping the special interests that are farmers.
Do they maintain a map of these things so they can be properly disposed of?
There's some sort of secret organisation putting arsenic packages around cities as well.
Might be attempts from the illuminati to kill off the homeless or your pet dogs or something, it's hard to know.
Any old kid could pick one up and eat them, nothing is registered on any web sites of locations.
Wildlife services is hardly a secret branch, they are also the folks who airdrop rabies vaccine in remote areas. Yes they do take game from helicopter as part of their population management. Hogs in particular are frequently managed by helicopter since they like to hang out on private property.
The M44 device does have it's issues but calling it a bomb is a gross misise of words - it's a spring loaded aerosol. It's typically used for pack management especially with hogs. Most of the concern with them is downstream of the food chain - a nontargeted animal eats a poisoned carcass, dies, and then something eats those remains.
They use the term "so-called cyanide bomb" because people that the story is covering have called it a bomb.
The idea that Wildlife services is secretive is covered by this quote: "Congressman Peter DeFazio of Oregon, a long-time critic of Wildlife Services, has described the agency as more secretive than the Department of Homeland Security".
[PDF WARNING] https://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/wildlife_damage/fs-m...
Also, the text explaining what it does is so small you’d have to put your head near the device to read it.
So? It's not a proximity trigger. It won't activate unless you pull on the bait.
These things sound quite deadly, and the regulations around them sound very lax / practically not enforced.