story by Magdala Louissaint as broadcast/published on KPVI.com
“This is not the first time the USDA had a run in with the Gate City…”
It’s almost been two months since a Pocatello family lost their dog and almost their son to a cyanide trap set 300 yards behind their house. Since then the USDA says they’ve taken all the traps out of the Gem state. But that hasn’t changed anything to investigators who say they were never notified of the deadly chemical, meant to kill predators, planted around Bannock County.
The incident began in the Buckskin area back in March. Canyon Mansfield says, “I panicked and sprinted down to get my mom.” The 14-year-old and his dog Kasey were 300 yards away from their house. He describes, “Suddenly there’s like a pop and then orange gas spews out.” The Mansfield family dog died and they almost lost their son as well. Theresa Mansfield, Canyon’s mother says, “We didn’t want to believe it was from Cyanide poisoning, but deep down it scared the crap out of us.”
The Cyanide trap was placed on BLM land with no warnings in sight. Investigators found a second trap not far from the first. Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen says, “We’re not Alaska. There are wilderness places where people go. I don’t care what the purpose is. If it’s endangering public it shouldn’t be there.”
Since the death of Kasey there’s been a worldwide outcry. The Bannock County’s Sheriff’s office has launched their investigation. The city has also stepped in. In March Pocatello’s Mayor Brian Blad wrote a letter to the USDA asking them to stop manufacturing Cyanide Traps, or M-44’s, in the city. Since then the agency reached out to the mayor. He says he toured the facility, learned about their safety precautions and products “They’re going to continue to do their practice until congress acts,” said Blad.
This is not the first time the USDA had a run in with the Gate City. Seven years ago the agency was responsible for illegally setting “Quick Kill” traps, meant for Rock chucks within city limits. Obtained by KPVI in an incident report by Pocatello’s animal control, an elderly woman called them after finding a cat trapped alive in a “quick kill” trap or Conibear trap in her backyard. She admitted to the city she requested the traps from the USDA. She says at least three cats had been killed before and they were removed by the local USDA representative Todd Sullivan. Sullivan is the same man involved in the Mansfield investigation. In 2010 the charges against Sullivan were dismissed by a federal judge.
The city and USDA came to an agreement that they would not place Conibear traps in Pocatello without notifying the city first. The USDA declined to speak to KPVI on camera, but gave us a written statement answering our questions. They told us, the incident involving the Mansfield Dog is still under investigation and can’t comment. But claimed they had “107 M-44’s set on 16 properties in the state and all have been removed.” Our request to tour the Pocatello manufacturing facility was denied, they say because of security concerns.
The agency tells us the Pocatello location has been manufacturing M-44 deceives since 1969. And also handles, “Gas cartridges for fumigating rodent burrows, rodent grain baits…, predator lures, and repackages other products such as order control products and animal immobilization drugs.”
The sheriff’s investigation is now left in the hands of county prosecutors to find if any state laws were violated. In the meantime, the sheriff says this to residents, “We now have to be aware of our surroundings. If there is something that is out there that is not part of… leave it alone, leave it alone,” Nielsen said.
Categories: The Force of the Horse, Uncategorized, Wild Burros, Wild Horses/Mustangs
Horse slaughter, cyanide bombs…..and the Animal Rights are the Extremists? I think that’s a safe bet the Bureau of Land Mangement is the Extremist.
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Sodium cyanide is a highly toxic chemical asphyxiant, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Because it interferes with the body’s ability to use oxygen, it is rapidly fatal.
Wildlife Services is a strategically misnamed federal program within the USDA that wastes millions of dollars each year killing wild animals with traps, snares, poisons, gas, and aerial gunning at the request of corporate agriculture and the hunting lobby. According to their official reports, they have slaughtered over 34 million animals in the last decade. Even worse, we’ve had whistleblowers tell us repeatedly that Wildlife Services’ real kill numbers are significantly higher, just not reported.
In 2016 alone they claim to have killed 2.7 million animals, including the following vital native predators:
332 mountain lions (cougars)
Despite the opposition of environmentalists and concerned citizens, and a series of scathing advisory reports over the years, Wildlife Services has survived and prospered, primarily as a pet program of the powerful livestock industry. The agency has refused Congressional requests for transparency and has refused to account for their spending.
“Order control products” sounds like something toxic used on human beings. Does anyone know what this term refers to?
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if they insist on continuing to produce these things then they should be facing law suits every time they cause herb or death to any living thing. Enough times getting sued should give them some incentive to dispense with this deadly stuff. I’m bout got to ask what the hell is wrong with them. I already know.
The Sherriff in the video has a completely UNHELPFUL and stupid response to the government placement of wildlife killing devices—“leave it alone” is irresponsible, blame the victim language. The entire natural world is under assault from the overwhelming reproduction of Homo sapiens and their appropriation of all air, land and water—what few creatures hanging on, have to run the gauntlet of our further efforts to extirpate them! We are selfish and cruel