Rat Poison Ban Coming in June from Feds

Apr 22, 2011, 08:44 by David Hope

Federal regulations will begin banning the most toxic of rat poisons, which U.S. experts say have crept up the food chain to other wildlife.

The long-lasting and highly toxic poisons intended to kill mice and rats are also killing the animals feeding on them and not just squirrels, the experts say. Animals such as bobcats, barn owls, kestrels, red-tailed hawks, kit foxes, coyotes and other predators are dying as a result of rat poison sold at big-box stores, consumer outlets and hardware stores.

"Rodenticides are the new DDT," said Maggie Sergio, director of advocacy at WildCare, a Bay Area, Calif., wildlife rehabilitation center that has responded to dozens of poisoning cases. "It is an emergency, an environmental disaster. We are killing nature's own rodent control."

Beginning in June federal regulations will ban the sale of the most toxic, long-lasting rat poisons, The Sacramento Bee reported Sunday. But some say, "Too little, too late."

"We've been collecting data forever," said Stella McMillin, an environmental scientist with the pesticide investigations unit of the California Department of Fish and Game. "They took 10 years after we knew it was a problem. It was absolutely too long."

Researchers have evidence of predator poisoning in California, New York and Canada.

"The truth is, it's not just across the state but across the country and across the world," said Seth Riley, a wildlife ecologist with the National Park Service.

Source: UPI