Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Calls Mount For Ban On ‘Cyanide Bombs’ After Death Of Family Pet

Canyon Mansfield and his dog were walking the ridge line near his house in Pocatello, Idaho, when the 14-year-old spotted a curious device that looked like a sprinkler nestled in the ground. When he reached down to inspect it, the device detonated, erupting with a “loud popping noise that knocked Canyon off his feet” and dowsed his face and clothes with an “orange, powdery substance,” The Idaho State Journal reports. After cleaning himself off, Mansfield turned to his dog — only to find the 3-year-old lab with “red froth coming from his mouth and his eyes turning glassy,” Mansfield later told the newspaper. The device that detonated in Mansfield’s face, sent him to the hospital and, ultimately, killed his dog on March 16 was an M-44. Often known as a “cyanide bomb,” it’s a device used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to prevent predators such as coyotes from harming livestock on farm and ranch lands. When triggered, the M-44 spits a potentially lethal dose of sodium cyanide powder at the interloper. Which raises a question, asked by Mansfield’s parents, conservation groups and federal agencies alike: What was the “cyanide bomb” doing on land owned by the federal Bureau of Land Management, so close to the house of a family unaware of its existence?...more

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