From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2000:
Seven members of the Paul and Lee-Ann Wright family, of Crawford, Colorado, whose dog was killed in March 1999 by a cyanide-firing M-44 “coyote-getter” placed on their property without their knowledge by a then-USDA Wildlife Services contract trapper, on February 2 filed a U.S. District Court suit seeking $150,000 in damages from Wildlife Services; an injunction to keep Wildlife Services off their land; and an order that Wildlife Services trappers must comply with Environmental Protection Agency rules restricting the use of poison.
A Colorado Department of Agriculture investigation found earlier that the trapper broke numerous safety rules.
The Wright case was filed just under a month after USDA Wildlife Services agents removed seven M-44s from a Christmas tree farm near Estancia, Oregon, where a cyanide bait placed by Wildlife Services trapper Mark Lytle on January 6 killed a four-year-old German shepherd named Bud. Bud had roamed only 100 yards from owner Dixie Tippett’s back door.
South Dakota is expected to allow M-44 use later this year. The cyanide-firing devices kill coyotes at less expense than most other methods. Oregon kills 5,000 to 6,000 coyotes per year with M-44s, at a reported fraction of the cost of aerial gunnery, which New Mexico used to kill 6,213 coyotes in 1998 at cost of $1.9 million.
Reverting to one of the oldest approaches to predator killing, at least four counties in rural Virginia introduced bounties of $50 on coyotes during the past 12 months. Bounties had reportedly already raised the state coyote kill from 2,717 in 1996-1997 to 3,739 in 1997-1998. Taking over habitat from foxes, who in some areas have been hounded and trapped to scarcity, coyotes kill about 750 sheep, goats, and calves per year in Virginia.