Last week, the California Department of Pesticide Control officially banned consumer use of all second generation anticoagulant rodent poison. Here's a link to the official announcement on the ban from Poison Free Malibu, a group of Malibu environmental activists who have led the charge in Malibu and our neighboring communities to get the most toxic rat poisons off the shelf and out of parks and public spaces:
California just banned consumer use of second generation anticoagulant rodent (SGARs) poisons, starting on July 1.
That gap includes potential over-use by commercial pesticide companies and the concern that pesticide manufacturers will fill shelves with other dangerous rat poisons, such as strychnine—a murder mystery staple in the era before it was replaced with slow-acting poisons like the anti-coagulants.These are the modern supertoxic rodent poisons that are spreading throughout the ecosystem causing massive exposure, disease, and death beyond the intended rodent targets. Scientific studies tell us that rodent poisons are a leading cause of death among carnivores, and also endanger our children and pets. The horrendous statistics are at the 90% level for the percentage of coyotes, bobcats, hawks, owls, mountain lions and others affected by the SGARs. You can see more details including newspaper articles and technical documents at EarthFriendlyManagement.com.
This is a major step by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation that many of us had been hoping for. It will accomplish a lot, but also leave a major gap remaining.
Still, wildlife proponents are hopeful that the ban will begin to reduce the levels of rodenticide in the environment and help keep sensitive species like the mountain lion and bob cat from slipping into extinction. There is also the hope that the rest of the nation will follow California's lead, and that anti-coagulant rodenticides will eventually be banned everywhere.
There's a pattern here that mirrors the use of DDT in the 1940s and '50s. DDT was a highly effective pesticide—at least at first. Overzealous use led to resistant insects and then to the near extinction of numerous species of wildlife in the U.S., including the bald eagle and the California Brown Pelican.
DDT was manufactured by the ton right here in Southern California. The Montrose Chemical Corporation in Torrance discharged millions of gallons of DDT waste into the Santa Monica Bay at Palos Verdes from 1947-1983.
The Malibu Post took a look at the impact of anticoagulant rodenticides on wildlife in the March 7 post. I also wrote about the issue for last week's Malibu Surfside News.
26 March 2014