To watch the video of our Ojai Rodenticide presentation and the City Council’s vote in favor of the resolution at the Feb 25th, Ojai City Council meeting (scroll ahead to 2:14:35):
Although, Ojai City Council Feb 25th, 2014 adopted a resolution against the use, sales and purchase of anticoagulant rodenticides, we still need to educate the community. http://www.ojaivalleynews.com/archives/wednesday.pdf
Please visit: http://www.raptorsarethesolution.org/
Transition to Organics and Ojai Wildlife League are working together to continue outreach to the community. Volunteers are needed to give brochures to neighbors, and info packets to merchants. There are bait boxes all over Ojai with poisons that are killing our wildlife and pets! Children are also in danger. Each year, 10,000 children are accidentally poisoned by ingesting rodenticides.
California just banned consumer use of second generation anticoagulant rodent (SGARs) poisons, starting on July 1.
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, see below.
Here is the official announcement – http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/legbills/rulepkgs/13-002/13-002.htm
Here is a summary of the huge advance this represents, and also what remains.
1) Consumers will not be able to use the products containing the worst rodent poisons that have been sickening our wildlife, pets and children, so-called second generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs). The products can be identified by their active ingredients – Brodifacoum, Bromadiolone, Difenacoum, and Difethialone.
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) did a comprehensive review of the data on the damage to wildlife done by these four chemicals which can be found at http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/registration/reevaluation/chemicals/brodifacoum_final_assess.pdf.
2) This will have an important impact at the national level. As California goes, so goes the nation. The US Environmental Protection Agency has been trying to impose restrictions on the SGARs since at least 2008, see http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/mice-and-rats/cancellation-process.html
Even though the EPA restrictions are not as strong as California’s they were still successfully stalled by Reckitt-Benckiser, Inc, the makers of D-Con. Now that California has succeeded in implementing its regulations, we can hope that the legal battle blocking the nation-wide EPA regulations will be ended.
1) Exterminators and the pest control companies that service all the homeowners and businesses will still be allowed to use SGARs. These are the sources of the hundreds of poison bait boxes we see all over our neighborhoods and commercial and business areas. Rodents are not trapped in these boxes, they eat the poison and then go out to poison the wildlife. The data in the CDPR review mentioned above reveals that a huge part of the problem is due to these bait boxes. With consumer use banned, the contribution of SGARs to the environment by the licensed operators will undoubtedly increase. The CDPR has said that it will monitor this in the coming years, and hopefully they will deal with it as the problem occurs with further restrictions.
2) Other rodent poisons may take up the slack. For example, diphacinone is a first generation anticoagulant rodenticide that is not affected by the new rules. However, the CDPR review shows that it is by far the largest amount sold by weight of active ingredient, a bit less then three times the weight of all the SGARs combined. It is true that diphacinone is not as potent as the SGARs, but it is plenty damaging enough, and very widespread. Increased use may take up the slack left by the SGARs in the harm done to wildlife.
An example of a very dangerous and previously unpopular poison making a comeback is strychnine. Stella McMillin, California Department of Fish and Wildlife Environmental Scientist for Toxicology finds – “One rodenticide I’m keeping my eye on is strychnine. In California, we went nearly a decade without any reported cases of wildlife poisoned by strychnine. Now, in the last couple of years, we’ve had several. So, what’s going on? Is it just coincidence or is it due to the increased regulation of anticoagulant rodenticides?”
Again, we hope that the CDPR monitors this and takes more action eventually.
Dr. Seth Riley gave a talk to the Simi Valley City Council on October 13, 2014. Seth is the local Wildlife Ecologist for the National Park Service and also an Adjunct Professor at UCLA. He gave an overview of the effects of the poisons on local wildlife. See youtube below: