The U.S. Department of Agriculture is responsible for controlling predatory and feral animal populations in the country, but its continued use of indiscriminate M-44 “cyanide bombs” has led to a backlash from animal rights workers, legislators, and even grassroots groups of American citizens.
The M-44 resembles a common sprinkler head, but when pulled on or manipulated, ejects a cloud of deadly orange cyanide gas. Such devices are intended to keep coyotes, wolves, and feral dogs off farmland and residential property, but as the USDA is required to report each year, there is a fair amount of collateral injury, as well.
M-44 devices have killed at least 22 domestic animals since 2013, according to the USDA. Along with that, more than 300 wild animals were unintentionally killed, including some protected species, and one of the wolves of Oregon’s Shamrock Pack.