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EPA Moves To Ban Dangerous Rat Poison

There’s a dangerous type of mouse and rat poison on the market that when eaten by the rodents, causes them to bleed to death internally. Problems arise when the poison sometimes finds its way into the hands of kids or pets or moves up the food chain from rats and mice to foxes, bobcats, owls and the like that pounce on sickly rodents.

Earthjustice attorney Greg Loarie sent a letter to the State of California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation in December asking the state to order the stuff off the market. The state has yet to respond but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency now says it will start the process to ban forms of the poison used in the home that lack tamper-resistant packaging. While EPA is taking a significant step in the right direction, more needs to be done to protect children and wildlife.

Poisoning and killing of wildlife have been documented in eagles, hawks, owls, bobcats, mountain lions, foxes and other predators. The EPA reports that on average, more than 100 pets die each year from exposure to rodenticides and up to 10,000 children are accidentally exposed to rat poison in the home environment. Use of good old fashion snap traps is a safe alternative that poisons nothing.

Gray fox suffering from rodenticide poisoning.  (Courtesy of WildCare by Melanie Piazza)

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unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders. Learn more about Earthjustice.