Wildlife advocates got a much-needed win recently when the EPA withdrew its support for M-44 “cyanide bombs” used to kill coyotes and other animals. The devices — which attract animals with tasty bait and then inject a deadly dose of sodium cyanide into their mouths — have been used for decades by a USDA program called Wildlife Services to eliminate animals that are perceived as threats to agricultural interests.
The announcement came just five days after the EPA re-approved the use of M-44s, a move that generated outcry from around the country.
While this success is noteworthy, M-44s are just one of the weapons in Wildlife Service’s arsenal. The program’s staff uses a variety of additional tools and methods to complete their tasks, including several that wildlife advocates consider to be cruel and inhumane.
These methods add up. All told Wildlife Services killed 2.6 million animals in 2018, including 1.1 million invasive species and 1.5 million native animals.
For more on these methods and some of the species affected, check out our video below: