The City of Laguna Beach has taken action tonight voting unanimously to move forward with a ban on deadly anticoagulant rodenticides. Due to the State Legislature’s failure to take action to ban the use of deadly rodenticides, cities across the state must take action if we are going to save our wildlife.
The bobcats, coyotes, foxes, turkey vultures, hawks and other wildlife that are in any one area of the state should be the concern of all Californians, as these animals are all of our wildlife.
We want to thank Councilmember Steve Dicterow, who brought the measure forward, for his leadership and willingness to listen to the science. We also want to thank him for recognizing Judie Mancuso’s work at the local level to help bring awareness and guidance around the issue. Thank you, Steve!
We would also like to thank all of the organizations that sent in their support for the measure. Below are some highlights of the information these groups shared with the City Council on why we need to ban rodenticides:
Kian Schulman, Director of Poison Free Malibu, shared the following information from a National Park Service letter which highlights the frightening and extensive reach that these poisons have once in the environment, “Overall, our studies have shown widespread exposure to these chemicals across the carnivores in our region that we have studied. We found a greater than 90% exposure rate of bobcats to anticoagulant rodenticides, a 96% exposure rate in mountain lions (23 of 24 have tested positive), and an 83% exposure rate in coyotes. Moreover, for all of these species, 2/3 or more of the exposed animals had evidence of multiple different rodenticide compounds and sometimes in large amounts, indicating multiple exposure events.”
Jonathan Evans, Environmental Health Legal Director, at the Center for Biological Diversity, who led a coalition of other groups working on the front lines of the rodenticide issue, wrote, “…regulations enacted by Cal DPR to minimize harm from rodenticides have proven ineffective. For example, recent data reveals that anticoagulant rodenticide poisoning is an ongoing problem in over 85% of tested mountain lions. Stronger safeguards are needed.”
Harry Huggins, President of the Laguna Canyon Conservancy, wrote, “By taking action now to protect wildlife and other unintended targets of poison like kids and pets, Laguna Beach will join other communities around the state, nation, and world to stop the use of deadly rodent poisons.”
Norm Grossman, President of Laguna Greenbelt, Inc. wrote, “Laguna Beach’s open space, while an impressive conservation achievement, is an island surrounded by human development and divided by roadways. Its wildlife inhabitants experience multiple stressors and threats to their survival, including drought, fires, and hazardous roadway crossings. Pesticide exposure is a threat that we can easily remove from this list.”
The list below are measures the City directed staff to move forward with in tonight’s vote:
(1) Prepare a resolution for consideration by the City Council prohibiting the use of anticoagulant rodenticides in the maintenance of municipal parks, facilities and landscapes;
(2) Urge business owners to refrain from selling or using anticoagulant rodenticides in Laguna Beach; and
(3) Urge residents to refrain from allowing the use of anticoagulant rodenticides on their private properties.
Staff will bring back the ordinance for a final vote, we will update you then. Thanks to everyone that sent in your support…together we take another step forward for the voiceless.