EPA rejects animal rights groups? petition on predator control

Feb 13, 2009
by WLJ
EPA rejects animal rights groups’ petition on predator control

The efforts by animal rights groups to eliminate the use of Sodium Cyanide used in M-44s and Compound 1080 (sodium flouroacetate) used in Livestock Protection Collars (LPC) has failed. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in its letter to the petitioners that it does not believe cancellation is the appropriate response to their petition filed in 2007. “The entire livestock community welcomes this decision,” comments Glen Fisher, president of the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI). “M-44s are one of the top two effective management tools used in the United States against coyote predation.”

Hundreds of sheep producers, agriculture and wildlife management organizations, both state and national, joined ASI and the Public Lands Council in defending the continued registration of these predator control tools.

“Producers commented on the effectiveness of, and the need for, these tools to keep lambs and calves from being attacked by predators,” adds Fisher.

Petitioners claimed that M-44s and LPCs could not perform their intended functions without causing unreasonable adverse effects on the environment and posed an imminent hazard. The agency disagreed.

In regard to the claim that M-44s and LPCs pose unreasonable risks to the environment, EPA found the arguments of the animal rights’ petitioners unpersuasive and responded that it seemed their issues were directed against lethal predator control practices in general, rather than the registration of M-44s and 1080 specifically.

EPA and the Department of Homeland Security also disagreed with the petitioners’ allegations that these products presented a terrorism threat and again denied the cancellation request.

“This decision affirms the procedures and science used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Wildlife Services to keep these products registered and in use for protection of livestock,” states Peter Orwick, executive director for ASI. “Regulators saw through the sensational claims and manipulation of information used by animal rights’ organizations that sought to cancel the registration. This successful decision shows the support from all partners in wildlife management from landowners to local, state and federal government, as well as the U.S. Congress.” — WLJ