Environmental Groups Urge For Ban Of Rat Poison That Kills New York Wildlife

July 28, 2014 | Sophie Weiner

Six environmental groups have filed a petition asking for a state-wide ban on a class of rat poison that they say has been the cause of many wildlife deaths in New York City. According to post-mortem examinations by the State Department of Environmental Conservation, many animals — hawks, crows, deer, even cats and dogs — have died after eating poisoned rats. The history and effects of this type of poison are well documented, the New York Times reports:

In filing a petition seeking the ban, the six groups cite necropsy reports prepared by the department itself documenting more than 225 poisonings dating back to the 1980s. Their petition says that such poisonings have killed animals from more than 30 species, including great horned owls, golden eagles and foxes, as well as housepets.

The safety measures already in place have been deemed ineffective by these groups, even when the poison in question is outside of the park system. They warn that “most parks in the city are within easy flying range of buildings that generate trash that draws rats, and that put out pesticides to try to control them.”

“These toxic products are poisoning the food chain,” Jonathan Evans, a lawyer for the Center For Biological Diversity, told the Times. “They’re having effects on upper-level predators that feed on small animals. We’re poisoning the solution when we use these products for rodent control.” (Photo: @torbakhopper)