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USDA halts use of M-44 'cyanide bombs' in Idaho

Jason Suckow, western regional director of Wildlife Services, said in a letter that the federal agency will stop its use of M-44 devices on all private, state and federal lands in Idaho. Wildlife Services has also removed all of the M-44s currently deployed across the state.

However, the statewide moratorium is not permanent. Suckow?s letter states that Wildlife Services will provide a 30-day notice to conservation groups before placing any new M-44s in Idaho...
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'Horrific incident': Family speaks out after pet dog killed by 'cyanide bomb'

POCATELLO ? As he walked his dog along the ridgeline of the hillside just south of his family?s home on West Buckskin Road, 14-year-old Canyon Mansfield noticed what he thought was a sprinkler head protruding 6 inches from the ground.

Like many curious teenagers would, he bent down and touched the pipe, which erupted with a loud popping noise that knocked Canyon off his feet. A hissing sound ensued and Canyon noticed his clothing and face were covered with an orange, powdery substance. After quickly washing his face and clothes in a nearby patch of snow, he called for his dog, a 3-year-old Lab named Casey.

But Canyon?s best friend didn?t respond.

?He just stayed on the ground mumbling,? Canyon said. ?I thought he was playing with his toy, but I saw the toy a couple yards away from him. ? So, I called him again and got really scared. I sprinted toward him and landed on my knees and saw this red froth coming from his mouth and his eyes turning glassy and he was having a seizure.?....
By James Wilkinson For and Reuters
Published: 22:57 EDT, 17 March 2017 | Updated: 01:06 EDT, 11 April 2017
...The boy's father, Pocatello physician Mark Mansfield, rushed to the scene and pounded on the 90-pound dog's chest in a futile effort to revive the animal.
Both the family and first-responders underwent decontamination procedures, and Canyon was tested for cyanide poisoning at a hospital for the second time Friday, officials and family members said.
He must now undergo daily check-ups to monitor his toxicity levels.
Posting on Facebook, Canyon's sister Madison took issue with the department's claims.
'The USDA's statement regarding the horrific incident that happened to my family yesterday is both disrespectful and inaccurate,' she wrote.
'The USDA intentionally refers to the brutal killing of our dog as a "take" to render his death trivial and insignificant. They also claim that the killing of an unintended victim is a rare occurrence, but this is entirely untrue.
'In fact, this issue is nationally recognized due to the lack of selectivity of cyanide bombs, and there have been many reported incidents in which unintended animals and people have been targeted.'
According to USDA statistics hosted on the anti-trapping website Predator Defense, between 2003 and 2014, 930 dogs were killed by M-44s. In that same period they killed 150,881 coyotes.
However, Predator Defense says the statistics are 'highly suspect' as 'employees within Wildlife Services have repeatedly told us many deaths are not reported.'
The organization says its mission 'is to protect native predators and end America's war on wildlife.'
Sheriff Nielsen, who described the devices as 'cyanide bombs,' also said no notice was given to authorities about their placement...