Predator-Killing 'Cyanide Bombs' Under Review In Colorado

Nov 6, 2017

Predator-killing cyanide traps will no longer be used on public lands in Colorado, pending further study. Colorado is now the second state to take a closer look at use of the devices, also known as M-44 cyanide bombs.

These are spring-loaded devices that resemble sprinklers. When triggered they propel one gram of lethal sodium cyanide into an animal's mouth.

Back in April, the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Wildlife Services division put a moratorium on M-44s in Idaho.

These are encouraging developments to Collette Adkins.

"Wildlife Services predator killing program is ecologically destructive, ineffective and cruel. There are so many better ways to deal with conflicts with wildlife than just killing them – especially better ways than these M-44 cyanide bombs," Adkins says.

Adkins is an attorney and biologist with the Center for Biological Diversity. That’s one of the groups that sued the government earlier this year, claiming the devices kill indiscriminately.

A 14-year-old boy triggered one near Pocatello, ID in the spring that sickened him and killed his family dog.

Adkins’ group and WildEarth Guardians have also petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to ban M-44’s nationwide. The groups claim there are better ways – both lethal and non-lethal – to handle problem predators.