According to Sam and Jim Commenting on things that irk us off, make us laugh out loud or just seem too weird too believe According to Sam and Jim: Arooo! Gassing Wile E Sucks

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Arooo! Gassing Wile E Sucks

Sam and I are ready to kick butt. 

We’re kidding, but we just read a McClatchy Newspapers article by Tom Knudson about the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services using or allowing the use of cyanide to kill wildlife predators, like coyotes, and the article just made our blood boil. 

Haven’t most states stopped using cyanide to kill death-row inmates, who arguably deserve it more than Wile E coyote? Why then are coyotes - who are just trying to procure a meal - getting gassed? 

The big problem with using cyanide to kill predators is that cyanide kills indiscriminately. Knudson reports that, “Since 2006, employees (of Wildlife Services) have trapped, shot and poisoned more than a half-million coyotes and other predators, along with 300-plus other species, from non-native starlings and pigeons to red-tailed hawks, prairie dogs, beaver, and other native birds and mammals. In the process, they have also accidentally killed more than 50,000 non-target animals, from domestic dogs to golden eagles and black bears.” 

Knudson also told the story in a sidebar of a Sacramento, Calif. Woman whose dog died when the two of them were out for a walk one day because the dog apparently wandered away from her and sniffed at a cyanide cylinder. These spring-loaded cylinders, called M-44s, are baited with scent and fine sodium cyanide powder and the cyanide is fired into the mouth of the unsuspecting predator (or non-predator) when it sniffs the cylinder. One can’t help wondering why the woman didn’t have her dog on a leash - as all dog owners should. What if she had been walking a young child whose curiosity got the best of it? 

It has been reported that people executed in the gas chamber experience a lot of pain and agony; like a really bad heart attack. Once they breathe cyanide their eyes pop out, their skin turns purple and they begin to drool, then their bodies’ spasm like they are having an epileptic seizure. No wonder we don’t kill people that way anymore. But we kill innocent animals that way. 

Ironically, according to Dr. Muhammad Avais who wrote an article for The Daily Post of Pakistan, cyanide is widely distributed in our ecosystem. It’s used in the production of adiponitrile, precursor of nylon, in photography, in chemical research, pharmaceutical, pesticides, synthetic plastics, metal processing, tanning, electroplating industries, in gold mining and electroplating industries and more. Two common exposures to cyanide says Dr. Avais, are breathing smoke during building fires and industrial accidents. Cigarette smoking is considered a significant source of cyanide intake too (our underline).

Additionally, foods that act as cyanogenic (cyanide) sources include: cassava, chokecherries, apple, bitter almond and apricot pits, and may cause chronic poisoning. Whatever you do don’t eat an apricot pit! 

Still, naturally occurring cyanide is one thing. Purposely baiting animals with it is entirely another. You might say that coyotes deserve what they get because they can decimate a herd of sheep and cause a rancher a huge economic loss. But Sam and I think ranchers can more humanely cope with coyotes. One rancher in Knudson’s story reported losing about 50 lambs a year to coyotes no matter what he did until he installed electric fencing around his property - then his losses dropped by 70 percent. 

Lest you think that leg-hold traps and neck snares are better than cyanide cylinders think again. Apparently those methods are pretty indiscriminate too. Knudson reports that Wildlife Services’ records show that leg-hold traps capture and kill about 10,000 to 12,000 animals a year. Only about half of those are coyotes. And neck snares have killed more than 50 different species of animals, 5,700 in all, other their “target” animals since 2006. 

No doubt Wildlife Services spends millions of our taxpayer dollars each year wiping out our poor innocent wildlife; three bags of poop on them for that. Why not give the money to other ranchers who can put up electric fences or something more humane? 

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