Skip to main content

Banning Dangerous Rat Poisons

A gray fox suffering from rodenticide poisoning.

A gray fox suffering from rodenticide poisoning.

Photo courtesy of Melanie Piazza / Wildcare

Case Overview

The American Bird Conservancy, Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club, represented by Earthjustice, have taken legal action to support the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to ban sales of several harmful rodenticides.

The rodenticides at issue, marketed by British-based multinational conglomerate Reckitt Benckiser LLC, under the brand name “d-CON,” do not comply with safety measures established by EPA in 2008 to protect children, wild animals, and pets from accidental poisoning.

The rodenticides interfere with blood clotting and cause the victim to bleed to death. In the absence of safeguards, rodenticides pose a significant risk to bobcats, foxes, owls, and other animals that are apt to eat poisoned rats or mice.

In 2008, EPA ordered companies to re-formulate their products in protective bait stations and to stop marketing the most toxic rodenticides on the consumer market, instead limiting their sale to large containers from agricultural supply stores. Most other manufacturers have been quick to conform.

Case Updates

June 12, 2014 | Blog Post

A Bad Month for Poisons

Some of the gravest poisoning threats to children, pets and wildlife will disappear because of agreements reached by Earthjustice.

May 30, 2014 | Blog Post

Victory: d-Con To Be Killed Off

The rodent killer d-CON—which also kills pets and poisons children—will cease being made by year's end under an agreement reached with the EPA.

May 30, 2014 | Press Release

d-CON Agrees to Pull Super-Toxic Rat Poisons From Stores

Following years of pressure from conservation, public-health and animal-rights groups, the maker of the rat poison d-CON agreed today to stop producing its super-toxic rat poisons and pull the products from store shelves by early next year. Reckitt Benckiser, the parent company of d-CON, had been challenging a decision by the EPA to limit the sale of super-toxic rat poison to avoid unintentional poisonings of children, pets and wildlife.