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(Reuters) - An environmental group launched legal action on Thursday seeking to ban commercial use of “super-toxic” rat poisons in California, citing data showing the products pose a grave threat to a dozen endangered species and other wildlife.
The Center for Biological Diversity notified state pesticide regulators of its intent to file suit for what the group calls a failure to adequately safeguard the San Joaquin kit fox and 11 other animals protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
Harm to wildlife from highly toxic “rodenticides” is most pronounced for predator and scavenger species, including mountain lions, bobcats, owls and condors, which can feed on poisoned rodents, the group said.
More than 70% of wild animals tested in California in recent years showed exposure to the rat poisons in question - so-called second-generation anticoagulants widely used by licensed pest control operators, the group’s notice said.
The products are typically used in bait boxes and work by causing the animal ingesting it to hemorrhage internally over a matter of days. The slow-acting nature of the substances then poses a secondary threat to other animals that prey on those that were poisoned.
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