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Speak up for CT’s raptors & other wildlife on Earth Day

Letters to the editor. Send signed letters to Nancy@NancyOnNorwalk.com with a suggested headline.

The legislation Friends of Animals helped draft that bans second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides in Connecticut is expected to be called for a vote in the House this week so please call/write your state representatives today and tell them to vote YES to HB5219. You can find your state representatives here.

Anticoagulant rodenticide poisons work by preventing blood from clotting. The second-generation class was created to be more toxic and last longer than the first-generation class. Rodents frequently eat more than a single dose. Since the rodent doesn’t die instantly, this allows the rodent to continue consuming the toxins. Birds of prey don’t have a chance against this super lethal build-up in the rodent’s tissues. So, they’re dying from internal bleeding after consuming poisoned rodents.

SGARS not only kill raptors, foxes, raccoons, coyotes and more, but they also weaken and sicken them too, making them vulnerable to other causes of death such as vehicular collisions. The evidence that SGARS pose an unreasonable risk to wildlife is piling up. A Place Called Hope birds of prey rehab center in Killingworth is up to 79 completed tests on killed birds and animals with 68 being positive for SGARS, including 3 bald eagles, our nation’s bird; barn owls, which are endangered; and two species of special concern — the broad-winged hawk and American kestrel.

Toxic anticoagulants ‘mis’-manage the problem—they will never solve it. Sanitation and exclusion are the answer. Putting out bait boxes full of poisons, which attract rodents into an area, makes no sense for Connecticut. Most importantly, they are killing birds of prey who are the best defense against rodents anyway.

On this Earth Day and for the past few, Friends of Animals has had a front-row seat to the full and interesting daily lives of a pair of red-tailed hawks who have built a nest high up in the crown of a tree across the parking lot of our Darien headquarters. We’ve watched them repair their nest every year around this time, hunt, preen themselves in the sun and raise young. The thought of them slowly bleeding to death from ingesting second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides is horrifying.

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