The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said it will temporarily stop using a cyanide bomb the agency had frequently employed to cull predator species such as coyotes, foxes, and feral dogs a month after one of the devices sprayed 14-year-old boy and killed his dog in Idaho.
On March 16, 2017, 14-year-old Canyon Mansfield was playing fetch with his dog Kasey, in Bannock County, Idaho, when an M-44 cyanide bomb sprayed him and killed his dog on public land near the boy’s home.
M-44s are deadly ground-weapons that can be triggered to spray poison by any person or animal that encounters the lethal device.
It has been reported that USDA’s Wildlife Services killed 1,594,595 animals native to the U.S. in 2016 and 1,681,283 in 2015.
The M-44 was unmarked and the youth described it to a local TV news station as “this little pipe sprinkler type thing,” which, when he touched it, spewed orange gas. Canyon cleaned himself with snow and described his companion as “mumbling” shortly before the dog started having seizures.
By the time Canyon got home, his 3-year-old yellow labrador retriever was dead, but the boy’s parents credit him with saving the life of their son from the unmarked, deadly and easily triggered ground weapon.
The USDA released a statement to KPVI expressing regret for the incident and explaining agency policy is to post signs and notify the local community when using these devices. It has now removed M-44s from the area. The deadly gadget was banned under President Nixon in 1972 but reinstated during the Reagan years.
Connect with NJTODAY.NET
Join NJTODAY.NET's free Email List to receive occasional updates delivered right to your email address!