Petition for a Moratorium on Super-toxic Rat Poisons

Dear Gov. Newsom:

We, the undersigned, urge you to sign the California Ecosystems Protection Act (A.B. 1788) into law and thereby place an immediate moratorium on the use of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides in California, except in cases of public health or ecosystem emergencies, to protect the state's wildlife from imminent harm.

Right now dozens of species are being hurt by these super-toxic rat poisons, including golden eagles, Humboldt martens, San Joaquin kit foxes and spotted owls. And more than 85 percent of California mountain lions, bobcats and Pacific fishers have been exposed to these rodenticides. Mountain lions in Southern California are in especially grave danger, as their populations are already isolated and close to extinction. Several mountain lions were recently found dead with multiple super-toxic rat poisons in their bloodstreams. Immediate action by the state is critical to prevent these populations' extinctions.

In 2014 the state of California did act by pulling this class of rodenticides from consumer shelves. Unfortunately there hasn't been a decrease in the rate of wildlife poisoning from these products because licensed pest-control applicators continue to use them throughout the state. Stronger prohibitions are necessary.

There's a wide range of safer, cost-effective alternatives on the shelves today. Strategies that prevent rodent infestations in the first place, by sealing buildings and eliminating food and water sources, are a necessary first step. Then, if need be, lethal strategies can be used that involve snap traps, electric traps and other nontoxic methods.

Please — move forward with a statewide moratorium on the use of these super-toxic rat poisons and sign the California Ecosystems Protection Act (A.B. 1788) into law. Our wildlife simply can't wait for help any longer.

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