Sunday, July 21, 2024

California Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Expand Community, Wildlife Protections Against Rat Poisons


The following is a press release issued by the Center for Biological Diversity:

Mountain lion P-22 was recaptured in 2014 by National Park Service biologists and treated for mange. Blood tests later showed exposure to anti-coagulant rodenticides. Credit: Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Burbank) is spearheading a bill to expand restrictions on toxic rat poisons and increase protections for children, pets and wildlife from unintentional poisoning.

The California Ecosystems Protection Act of 2023, or Assembly Bill 1322, would extend an existing moratorium on second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides to include a deadly first-generation anticoagulant rodenticide. The proposed legislation creates safeguards from the most toxic rat poisons until state regulators develop stronger restrictions for their use.

“Despite our hard work passing legislation to curb rodenticide use, California’s most iconic wildlife like mountain lions and eagles are still needlessly poisoned. We must do more,” Friedman said. “This common-sense bill will expand restrictions on some of the most dangerous rat poisons so we can better protect wildlife and families.”

In 2020 the state set a moratorium on certain uses of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides by passing A.B. 1788. But wildlife deaths from rodenticides have continued, with more than half of wildlife tested in the state exposed to rodenticides.

Of the 40 mountain lions tested in the Santa Monica Mountains, 39 tested positive for rodenticide. In 2022 a pregnant mountain lion who was struck by a car and killed in Southern California had tested positive for rodenticide and so did her four unborn kittens. The late P-22, the Griffith Park mountain lion, also suffered from mange linked to rodenticides, and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recently called for a statewide ban on first-generation rodenticides.

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“There’s no better way to honor P-22’s legacy than by implementing sensible restrictions on toxic poisons that are harming mountain lions and other wildlife,” said J.P. Rose, Urban Wildlands policy director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “There are effective options that don’t poison wildlife and children, and we need stronger protections that steer the public to safer alternatives.”

A.B. 1322, which is sponsored by the Center and Raptors Are The Solution, includes exemptions for agriculture, water infrastructure, biotech and other sectors. The Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials will have a hearing on the bill March 28.

The proposed legislation adds diphacinone, a first-generation anticoagulant rodenticide, to the moratorium.

“Diphacinone is deadly to wildlife and can cause decreased immune system response leading to diseases like mange in bobcats and other animals,” said Lisa Owens Viani, director of Raptors Are The Solution.

Rodents that consume anticoagulant rodenticides are frequently consumed by other wildlife, resulting in secondary poisoning and poisoning of the food chain.

In addition to harming mountain lions, bobcats, hawks, spotted owls and other wildlife, rodenticides are dangerous to people. In 2021 there were more than 3,000 cases of human poisonings, including at least 2,300 involving children, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

Less toxic rodenticides, fertility control and different types of traps are safer alternatives to address rodent infestations. For more information visit SafeRodentControl.org and raptorsarethesolution.org.

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  1. I accidentally poisoned my dog by poisoning rats. He found a dead one & couldn’t resist i guess. It wasn’t pretty & I thought he was going to die. He didn’t but he had gut issues the rest of his life that were expensive & a constant reminder of how ignorant I was. Ban it all!!! If you have it, dispose of it properly. It kills & harms far more than you intend.

  2. Meanwhile Biden off shore windmills killing whales left and right, it’s green you know.!

    NJ Lawmakers Demand Pause on Offshore Wind Projects After Latest Mass-Death Incident at Beach
    The spate of deaths has prompted lawmakers to call for a suspension of offshore wind projects until it can be determined why the animals are dying.

    “It has been clear for a long time that Gov. Phil Murphy’s irrational green energy goals, facilitated by offshore wind projects, may pose significant risks to marine life. Since January, New Jersey has recorded an alarming number of whale deaths, and just earlier today, eight dolphins died after washing ashore in Sea Isle City.

    Our whales are next folks once leases are sold and building starts.

  3. Millions of bats and birds are calculated to be slaughtered by onshore wind turbines every year. Meanwhile, off the coast of Massachusetts, work is about to start on a giant wind farm, complete with permits to harass and likely injure almost a tenth of the population of the rare North Atlantic Right whale.

    Our grays and humpbacks are next!


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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
Editor's Note: Whenever an article's byline reads "MendoFever Staff", the contents of that article were not composed by any of our reporters. Types of writing that will be attributed to "MendoFever Staff" include press releases, letters to the editor, op-eds, obituaries— essentially writing that is not produced by a reporter.

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