For Immediate Release, September 10, 2020

Contact:

Jonathan Evans, Center for Biological Diversity, (510) 844-7118, jevans@biologicaldiversity.org
Mike Andrade-Heymsfield, Animal Legal Defense Fund, (707) 364-8387, media@aldf.org
Lisa Owens-Viani, Raptors Are The Solution, (510) 549-2963, lowensvi@icloud.com

Thousands of Californians Call on Governor to Sign Bill That Protects Wildlife From Toxic Rat Poisons

SACRAMENTO, Calif.— Conservation groups delivered more than 10,000 California signatures to Gov. Gavin Newsom today asking him to sign a bill that would ban highly toxic rodenticides until state agencies develop common-sense safeguards to protect wildlife from the dangerous, long-lasting poisons.

“We urge Governor Newsom to listen to the voices of thousands of Californians who want to see safe, cost-effective options that protect both public health and animals such as kit foxes and mountain lions,” said Jonathan Evans, environmental health legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “He should sign this important legislation.”

A 2018 state analysis documented highly toxic rat poisons, known as second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides, in more than 85% of tested mountain lions, bobcats and protected Pacific fishers. That study prompted state regulators to open a new evaluation of whether to further restrict or ban the powerful, toxic chemicals.

“Second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides are the worst of the worst poisons, leading nontarget wildlife to needlessly suffer from internal bleeding and death,” said Jennifer Hauge, legislative affairs manager for the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

The bill targets only the most dangerous rodenticides and includes exceptions to allow their use to protect public health and agriculture. More than 175 less-toxic rat poison products would still be fully available for use under the bill.

“California can lead the nation, yet again, on protecting wildlife and the environment by enacting this groundbreaking legislation,” said Lisa Owens Viani, director of Raptors Are The Solution.

The California Ecosystems Protection Act, A.B. 1788, by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) passed the legislature on the last day of session. It is cosponsored by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Center for Biological Diversity and Raptors are the Solution.

For more information on nontoxic rodent-control methods, visit SafeRodentControl.org.

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Mountain lion P-33/NPS Image is available for media use.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund works to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system with high-impact lawsuits; free legal assistance to prosecutors; legislative advocacy; and resources for law students and professionals to advance the field of animal law. aldf.org.

Raptors Are The Solution is a nonprofit project of Earth Island Institute based in Berkeley, CA, dedicated to educating the public about the ecological role of birds of prey and other predatory wildlife and the danger they face from rodenticides.