LOS ANGELES – Gov. Gavin Newsom Tuesday signed a bill to restrict the use of certain rat poisons that have been linked to the deaths of mountain lions and other wildlife.
The measure limits the use of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides statewide until the Department of Pesticide Regulations director certifies that specified measures have been taken to evaluate, restrict and use the poisons only when necessary, according to the governor’s office.
The measure provides exemptions for specified activities, such as agriculture, and for use in locations necessary for public health and safety.
Second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides refer to any pesticide product containing brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difenacoum and difethialone as its active ingredients.
“Rodenticides are deadly for California’s mountain lions and other precious wildlife across the state,” the governor said in a written statement. “My father was a naturalist and a strong advocate for the preservation of mountain lions, and I grew up loving these cats and caring about their well- being. He would be proud to know that California is taking action to protect mountain lion populations and other wildlife from the toxic effects of rodenticides.”
The measure had been backed by a trio of conservation groups, which recently submitted 10,000 signatures urging the governor to sign the bill two weeks after the National Park Service reported that a mountain lion and a bobcat died directly from the effects of anticoagulant rat poisons.
“These one-feeding-kills poisons are devastating California’s wild animals, including some of the state’s most beloved species like mountain lions. California has taken a critical step towards safeguarding these animals from unnecessary suffering and death,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, which was one of the groups that backed the measure.
The Center for Biological Diversity and Raptors Are The Solution had also called on the governor to sign the measure. Lisa Owens Viani, director of Raptors Are The Solution, said anticoagulants are “wiping out the very wildlife that help control rodents naturally” and said the bill “takes a giant step to reduce secondary poisoning.”