Wildlife Advocates Declare A Victory in Battle In opposition to Poisonous Rat Poison in California – CounterPunch


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September 28, 2022


Courtroom Guidelines that California Division of Pesticide Regulation Should Adjust to Environmental Laws When Renewing Rodenticide

BERKELEY, CA (September 28, 2022)— Yesterday, California’s First District Court of Appeal recognized the danger posed by the lethal rodenticide diphacinone in ruling that the California Division of Pesticide Regulation should absolutely contemplate proof earlier than it of the poison’s impacts on non-target wildlife, each by itself and at the side of different poisons, when the division renews registration of this product annually.

“The recent deaths of a number of mountain lions in Southern California from impacts related to anticoagulant rat poisons together with diphacinone spotlight the significance and timeliness of this choice,” stated Lisa Owens Viani, Director of Raptors Are The Resolution, a challenge of Berkeley-based Earth Island Institute and the plaintiff within the case. “The courtroom acknowledged the hazard to wildlife from diphacinone and specifically its cumulative impacts when used along with a number of different anticoagulants.”

The Stanford Environmental Regulation Clinic and Regulation Workplaces of Michael Graf represented Raptors Are The Resolution on this attraction, which challenged a 2020 choice by the Alameda County Superior Courtroom that the division had met the necessities of the California Environmental High quality Act (CEQA) when it determined to reevaluate second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) however refused to reevaluate the equally poisonous first-generation anticoagulant diphacinone.

The First District reversed the trial courtroom’s ruling with directions to the division to return to the drafting board to do a full evaluation of diphacinone and its impacts, in compliance with CEQA. The choice confirmed that the division had dedicated a number of authorized errors below CEQA in refusing to reevaluate diphacinone by distorting the document and improperly minimizing proof of opposed results of diphacinone – the second-most poisonous and generally used anticoagulant rodenticide.

“Yesterday’s choice makes clear that CEQA’s protections apply when the California Division of Pesticide Regulation considers whether or not to reevaluate a pesticide like diphacinone as a part of its annual pesticide renewal selections,” stated co-counsel Michael Graf, who filed the lawsuit in 2018. “The choice will make sure that the division considers a pesticide’s cumulative results in deciding whether or not or to not reevaluate the pesticide’s registration, which is a important ruling that may assist to guard wildlife in California.”

Alana Reynolds, an authorized regulation scholar with the Stanford Environmental Regulation Clinic who argued the case within the First District, stated of the courtroom’s choice: “Yesterday’s choice is a win for knowledgeable governmental decision-making and rational therapy of science that sounds environmental alarm bells. It has been an honor to work on a case that fought to guard ecosystems from critical hurt and ensures that the division take a tough take a look at sound science indicating that extreme environmental impacts are occurring.”

“The courtroom’s choice not solely protects our state’s bobcats, owls, and different wildlife but additionally upholds the essential integrity of CEQA,” stated Samuel Wallace-Perdomo, an authorized regulation scholar with the Stanford Environmental Regulation Clinic who co-authored briefing on the attraction. “The choice vindicates the essential obligation assured by CEQA that businesses should contemplate new environmental proof that involves mild earlier than reviewing and approving impactful initiatives.”

The division’s settlement to reevaluate SGARs led to the passage of AB 1788 in 2020, which positioned a moratorium on the usage of these merchandise however left diphacinone in widespread use. All anticoagulant rodenticides work by inflicting goal species, like rodents, to bleed to loss of life. Nonetheless, a number of research have documented that wildlife preying on rodents poisoned by anticoagulants can undergo secondary results that may result in debilitating ailments, just like the parasitic pores and skin an infection mange and spontaneous hemorrhaging, in addition to loss of life. Diphacinone specifically has been proven to jeopardize a variety of fowl and mammals, together with owls, bobcats, coyotes, and even bears.

“The document is evident that much less harmful and ecologically sound options to diphacinone can be found for rodent management,” stated Stephanie Safdi, an legal professional with the Stanford Environmental Regulation Clinic. “Below CEQA, the California Division of Pesticide Regulation might want to rigorously contemplate secure and efficient options like Built-in Pest Administration methods when it makes its regulatory selections about diphacinone’s registration in mild of the proof that the compound is inflicting widespread ecological injury.”

If the division decides primarily based on the proof that diphacinone could also be inflicting critical hurt or {that a} safer different could also be obtainable, it is going to be required by its rules to place diphacinone into reevaluation. Based mostly on additional environmental and security overview throughout the reevaluation course of, the division will then determine whether or not to impose restrictions on the product or cancel its registration altogether.


A four-month-old coyote pup with mange, discovered unconscious and emaciated with diphacinone detected in its liver tissue.


Raptors Are The Solution is a nonprofit challenge of Earth Island Institute primarily based in Berkeley, CA, devoted to educating the general public in regards to the ecological function of birds of prey and different wildlife and the hazard they face from rodenticides.


Lisa Owens Viani
Raptors Are The Resolution
(510) 292-5095
[email protected]

Michael Graf
Regulation Workplaces of Michael Graf
(510) 525-1208
[email protected]

Stephanie Safdi
Stanford Environmental Regulation Clinic
(513) 324-1965
[email protected]



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