The Environmental Protection Agency has denied a petition from an environmental organization to ban M-44 devices, known as cyanide bombs, on public lands.
The EPA responded that it will not take immediate action to ban M-44s as requested, but will continue with its normal registration review process. This means the devices could be banned in the future.
The device is lethal when it comes into contact with animals and is used by Wildlife Services to protect livestock by killing predatory carnivores like coyotes and foxes.
Bethany Cotton, Wildlife Program Director for WildEarth Guardians says that coyotes are compensatory breeders, meaning they increase reproduction if more of their pack are killed.
“It really ends up not being effective at all as a way to try to prevent depredation on livestock.”
WildEarth Guardians argue that non-targeted animals like domestic dogs, and even human beings, are in danger of accidentally triggering the devices on public lands. Cotton says the Trump EPA is, "unwilling to recognize a clear threat to human health and safety." She says her organization will continue to fight for a ban.