Protect California Wildlife from Super-Toxic Rodenticides

Sign your name to an open letter to Governor Gavin Newsom urging him to place a statewide moratorium on the use of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides – the most toxic class of rat poisons – except in cases of public health or ecosystem emergencies. 

Dear Governor Newsom,

We are concerned California residents who care deeply about protecting our state’s wildlife, children, and companion animals from super-toxic rodenticides (rat poisons). We urge you to place a moratorium on the use of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (“SGARs”) in California, except in cases of public health or ecosystem emergencies, to protect the state’s wildlife from imminent harm.

A 2018 analysis of 11 studies revealed that more than 85% of California mountain lions, bobcats, and Pacific fishers have been exposed to rodenticides. Mountain lions are in particularly grave danger –several isolated Southern California mountain lion populations are close to local extinction. In recent months, several mountain lions were found dead in the Santa Monica Mountains with multiple SGARs found in their bloodstreams. These animals are being decimated by rodenticides – with at least five deaths conclusively caused directly by these super-toxic poisons, including P-30, who died in September 2019. Immediate action by the state is critical to prevent these populations’ extinctions.

Sadly, mountain lions are far from the only victims of SGARs – they represent just a small portion of California wildlife being killed by these harmful poisons. Other species of concern and threatened species that have been directly impacted by anticoagulant rodenticides include golden eagles, Humboldt martens, San Joaquin kit foxes, and Pacific fishers.

The threat these poisons pose to wildlife led the California Department of Pesticide Regulation to pull SGARs from consumer shelves in 2014. Unfortunately, there has been no decrease in the rate of wildlife poisoning from these products since that time, as licensed pest control applicators are still permitted to use SGARs and continue to do so throughout the state. This is not a product that can be applied by a professional or in a “responsible” manner in order to mitigate harm.

While legislation that would greatly restrict the use of SGARS in the state, AB 1788, is currently being considered, California’s wildlife cannot wait any longer. The state must issue a moratorium now on the use of SGARs, with limited circumstances, pending the passage of legislation or action by the Department of Pesticide Regulation. Our wild animals and our ecosystem depend on it. 


To get an overview of the Animal Legal Defense Fund's cases and campaigns in your inbox, sign up to receive email from us: