Agreement stops cyanide trap use on Wyoming public land

FILE – This March 16, 2017 file photo released by the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office shows a cyanide device in Pocatello, Idaho. The cyanide device, called M-44, is spring-activated and shoots poison that is meant to kill predators. Federal officials have agreed to stop using predator-killing cyanide traps on Colorado public lands amid pressure to ban the devices nationwide after one injured an Idaho teenager and killed his dog. (Bannock County Sheriff’s Office)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — U.S. wildlife officials have agreed to stop using a certain cyanide trap to help control predators on 10 million acres of public lands in Wyoming.

In a court-approved agreement resulting from a lawsuit brought by wildlife advocacy groups, the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Wildlife Services agreed to stop using M-44 devices in the state. M-44s are embedded in the ground and look like lawn sprinklers but spray cyanide when triggered by animals attracted by bait.

The federal agency had previously stopped using the devices in other western states.

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The Wyoming agreement also requires the federal agency to analyze the environmental impacts of killing coyotes, bobcats and other predators in the state and impose new trapping restrictions. Also it’ll adopt additional trapping protections to prevent inadvertent grizzly bear deaths.

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