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Wildlife Advocates Want Ban On 'Cyanide Bombs'

Oscar Sutton via UNSPLASH

The public can now weigh in on whether to ban controversial ‘cyanide bombs’ that federal officials use for wildlife control.

The ‘cyanide bombs’ are called M44’s and they’re used to kill wild animals that harm livestock. The EPA is reviewing the use of cyanide in wildlife management, and advocates want to see it banned.

Collette Adkins said there’s no guarantee that the animals that are targeted, coyotes for example, are the ones that are killed. She is with the Center for Biological Diversity.

“The real problem with these devices is that they’re indiscriminate because anything can tug on that device", said Adkins. "Anything that comes by can be killed by it. They’re just too dangerous to have on our public lands.”

In New Mexico since 2010, 315 animals were killed by M-44 cyanide bombs even though they weren’t the targeted animals according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture

People can be at risk, too. Last year, a teenage boy in Idaho was temporarily blinded from an M44 and his dog was killed.

The EPA is taking public comment through February 4th. 

Bryce Dix is our local host for NPR's Morning Edition.