South Dakota Sheep Growers Association Supports EPA Label Approval for Predator Control Tool
Andrew Wheeler of the Environmental Protection Agency, announced the final interim decision for the registered use of sodium cyanide. Working with U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services, the label for this predator control tool will include three additional use restrictions to promote public awareness and decrease non-target impacts. South Dakota Sheep Growers Association President Wade Kopren believes that this approval will be supported by his state’s sheep producers.
“In South Dakota, livestock producers annually face substantial losses from predation, close to quarter million dollars in death loss annually and $232 million nationwide,” Kopren explains. “Many western South Dakota sheep producers lamb on the range which can make them particularly vulnerable to predators. If we don’t have tools such as sodium cyanide used by Wildlife Services, I fear we lose, not only livestock, but also the sheep operations themselves. We support the USDA and EPA coming together and finding common ground to ensure careful and prudent use of this predator control tool and protecting livestock production.”
Sodium cyanide has been registered as a predicide since the 1940s and is only used with the oversight of federal or state wildlife officials. In the field, a capsule containing a precisely measured amount of sodium cyanide is inserted into a mechanically spring-loaded bait station, called an M-44. In the recently approved label, three new use restrictions apply. Specifically, a 600 foot buffer around occupied residences, excluding the residence of the cooperator, where M-44s cannot be placed. Also, the new label increases the distance on placement from public roads from 100 feet to 300 feet and increases signage for public awareness. “While we do have concerns about adding further restrictions to the use of M-44s, we believe that these steps will ensure this producers have access to this important livestock protection tool well into the future,” said Kopren. “Sheep producers in South Dakota commonly use livestock protection animals such as dogs however, without sodium cyanide which is the most targeted and safest predator control method available to livestock producers many sheep producers in our state would be irreparably harmed.”
–South Dakota Sheep Growers Association
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