From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1997:

Private animal control contractors
should not be allowed to use M-44
spring-loaded “coyote getters,” Utah
Department of Agriculture director of
plant industry Dick Wilson told the
Utah Wildlife Damage Prevention
Board on October 10. The devices
shoot deadly sodium cyanide into the
mouths of coyotes who tug at an
attached piece of bait.
Utah currently allows 33
USDA Wildlife Services trappers to
use M-44s, but the cost of supervising
private use to avoid accidentally
killing humans, pets, and livestock,
Wilson estimated, could run as high as
$20,000 per user per year.

Wildlife Damage Prevention
Board member Tom Williams noted
that even one case of private misuse
could lead to renewed prohibition of
any use of sodium cyanide. Use was
banned in 1972 by former U.S. president
Richard Nixon, but the ban has
been gradually eased under the Ronald
Reagan, George Buch, and Bill
Clinton presidential administrations.
Wilson’s recommendation
that current Utah policy not be
changed runs contrary to recent trend.
Trying to stimulate coyote killing, the
Colorado Wildlife Commission on
July 12 responded to the statewide ban
on leghold trapping and snaring
approved by voters last fall by declaring
an open season for coyote hunting.
The coyote season formerly ran from
November through February.
A week earlier, the Oregon
Department of Agriculture approved
the use of sodium fluoroacetate coyote-killing
collars on sheep––but only
if applied by USDA Wildlife Services
trappers. Sodium fluoroacetate, also
known as Compound 1080, was
another of the poisons Nixon banned
in 1972, after 13 human deaths were
attributed to accidental contact.
In Florida, the Pensacola
city council on October 10 hired
USDA Wildlife Services to rid the
municipal airport of coyotes, after a
commuter plane hit a coyote while
landing. The coyote killing will leave
abundant mice, rats, and rabbits on
the airport property without a major
predator, but the smaller animals are
not considered as likely to cause a
plane to crash.

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