Target: William H. Clay, Deputy Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Goal: End mass killing initiatives on bird populations in the U.S.
Recently, in Northern Nevada tens of thousands of starlings have been massacred by the USDA using the slow-acting toxicant DRC-1339 (3-chloro-p-toluidine hydrochloride). This method of avicide takes up to three grueling days to effectively kill bird populations and must cease to be the go-to plan. Tell government officials to ban the mass killings of birds with poisonous chemicals.
The government has been using DRC-1339 in Nevada and other states such as Oregon and Idaho since January 1963 to supposedly stop the spread of disease to livestock. In the initial field trial of 1963, 10 lbs. of DRC-1339 were spread over a two-acre cattle feed lot. The following year an astounding 11,466 lbs. of DRC-1339 were spread over approximately 1,460 acres, killing more than 741,000 birds. In 2013, nearly 50,000 birds were killed in Nevada alone—this is an all too common and irresponsible management plan.
In high concentration DRC-1339 can cause blood disorders in humans such as methemoglobinemia, which causes seizures, comas, and even death. Less severe symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, headaches, loss of consciousness and shortness of breath. Directions on how humans should handle high concentrations of the poison include protective gloves, protective clothing, and a face-mask or respirator. However, the government isn’t taking action to hand out respirators and there is no urgency on picking up remaining carcasses. As a matter of fact, the USDA would like for citizens to help pick up the remains themselves.
Even with the recent Nevada outrage, the USDA already has plans in place to use the toxicants on another species in 2016. Not only has the government massacred the invasive starling species, but it now plans to use chicken eggs with DRC-1339 poison as bait in efforts to drastically reduce the native raven population. Ravens have been idolized by ancient cultures of North America and even the subject of art, mythology, and literature for ages, but now they are the next target for another mass killing.
Safer methods of eradication have proven to be just as effective and include chasing the birds off, covering feed and water supplies, eliminating roosting areas, and acetylene gas. In some cases, these hazing techniques have kept the birds from returning entirely. Such methods would be much less cruel and less primitive, not to mention they would avoid the risk of eventual extinction and reduce non-target wildlife contact. Sign the petition below to help end the mass killing initiatives and keep DRC-1339 out of our environment.
Dear William H. Clay,
For some time now the USDA has been using DRC-1339 (3-chloro-p-toluidine hydrochloride), a slow-acting avicide, for the mass killing of birds. At first the toxicants were used on invasive species such as starlings, but now plans to use the poison for a mass killing of the native raven are in place for 2016. Other effective means of eradication are available and should be used in place of this primitive and cruel avicide.
Mass killing initiatives are held responsible for several species extinction, such as the pied raven, which had been labeled a pest until the last known specimen was shot under royal decree in 1902. We, the undersigned community, urge you to stop putting harmful chemicals into our environment and end mass killing initiatives used in Nevada, Oregon and Idaho.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Public Domain