Aug. 15 (UPI) -- The Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday it plans to reconsider a proposal allowing so-called cyanide bombs to control populations of wildlife that prey on livestock.
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the agency is withdrawing its registration review decision on sodium cyanide used in M-44 chemical trap devices, used to kill animals such as coyotes and foxes.
"The issue warrants further analysis and additional discussions by EPA with the registrants of this predacide," Wheeler said.
Last week, the EPA issued an interim decision authorizing the use of M-44 traps by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services department and some state agencies in Texas, New Mexico, South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.
Wheeler said the EPA would consult with those agencies regarding plans to allow the use of the traps.
"I look forward to continuing this dialogue to ensure U.S. livestock remain well-protected from dangerous predators while simultaneously minimizing off-target impacts on both humans and non-predatory animals," he said.
In 2017, the EPA denied a petition by the environmental groups seeking a nationwide ban on M-44 traps after the devices temporarily blinded a child and killed three family dogs in separate incidents in Idaho and Wyoming.
The Center for Biological Diversity, one of the authors of the petition, condemned the decision to reauthorize the devices last week.
"Cyanide traps can't be used safely by anyone, anywhere," said Collete Adkins, carnivore conservation director at the Center for Biological Diversity. "While the EPA added some restrictions, these deadly devices have caused too much harm to remain in use."