December 7, 2007
December 7, 2007 - Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) sent a letter this week to members of the U.S. House of Representatives asking for co-sponsors to his Compound 1080 and M-44 Elimination Act. On behalf of animal rights organizations, he is seeking to ban both the livestock protection collar which uses 1080 as well as the M-44 devices, which are used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services (WS) in wildlife management.
The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) issued a legislative alert to national and state industry leaders on Nov. 20 asking members to contact their U.S. Representatives to oppose such legislation. ASI legislative council co-chairs Bill Sparrow, Jr. (N.C.) and DA Harral (Texas) ask all livestock producers to continue their contacts with the House to oppose the DeFazio legislation.
Compound 1080 is a substance used in livestock protection collars and sodium cyanide is used in a capsulated form in M-44 ejectors. Both are effective and efficient predator control tools used by WS to protect not only livestock but also threatened and endangered species from predation by fox, coyotes and feral dogs. They are environmentally sound tools registered by the Environmental Protection Agency and used only by trained and certified applicators.
DeFazio's communication takes broad liberties, makes unsubstantiated claims, lacks statistically sound data and alludes to illegal activities in his effort to gain support for his act. The basis for much of his argument to ban 1080 dates back to information collected in the 1950s and the 1960s.
The National Agricultural Statistics Services estimated in 1999 and 2000 that 373,000 head of sheep, cattle and goats were killed by predators causing an economic impact of $56.2 million. Without tools such as 1080 collars and M-44 ejectors, the death of livestock from predation would substantially increase.
"Claims that the toxin 1080, which in the United States is solely used in livestock protection collars, is dangerous to humans or pets makes no sense. Predators have to actually attack a sheep at the neck and puncture the collar to ingest the toxin," stated Sparrow. Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33