H.R. 5643 Compound 1080 and Sodium Cyanide Elimination Act

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Originally Posted: 25 Sep 2010

H.R. 5643 Compound 1080 and Sodium Cyanide Elimination Act


Contact your Congressional representative and urge her or him to protect wildlife from cruel and dangerous poisons by supporting and co-sponsoring H.R. 5643, known as the Compound 1080 and Sodium Cyanide Elimination Act.

Tell her or him that the federal government should not be allowed to continue its reckless poisoning of wildlife to benefit special interests, especially when many effective, cost-efficient and ecologically sound non-lethal alternatives exist.


Contact your U.S. Representative


Talking points for your letter:

  • Compound 1080 has no known antidote and the FBI, EPA and World Health Organization classify it as an “extremely hazardous toxic pesticide.”
  • M-44s are spring-loaded, baited cyanide capsules that are planted just above the ground’s surface. Sodium cyanide powder explodes upward into the mouth or face of whatever or whoever disturbs it.
  • Companion animals and people have been killed and/or severely injured by accidentally triggering M-44s.
  • Threatened and endangered species potentially affected by M-44 include California condors, San Joaquin kit foxes, jaguarundis, ocelots, gray wolves and grizzly bears.
  • Non-lethal methods — including guard animals, such as dogs, llamas and donkeys; the use of fencing; sheltering animals at night; and improved husbandry practices — are just a few ways to protect livestock without killing wildlife. Non-lethal methods also allow wild animals to maintain their important roles in the ecosystem.
  • Because of the dangers and cruelty associated with these poisons, citizens in California (1998) and Washington state (2000) passed ballot initiatives that ban M-44s, which contain sodium cyanide, and livestock protection collars containing Compound 1080.

If passed this bill will effectively ban two of the most toxic and deadly wildlife poisons: sodium cyanide and Compound 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate). These poisons are used primarily by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program to kill coyotes, foxes, and other wild animals perceived as threats to livestock.

The Compound 1080 and Sodium Cyanide Elimination Act (see above) would not be necessary were humans to embrace a more compassionate approach to sharing the planet. Each year, in response to actual or perceived conflicts with wildlife, people indefensibly kill "offending" animals. In addition to being inhumane, murderous control efforts generally fail as they don't address the root causes of conflicts or provide long-lasting solutions. Born Free USA's "Coexisting with Wildlife" campaign promotes educated coexistence with our wild neighbors. Check out our brochures about coyotes, deer, beavers and other wildlife — or better yet order a bunch to share with family, friends and neighbors who can help make Earth a safe home for all its creatures.

Thank you for everything you do for animals!