Connecticut Audbon Society

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Rat and mouse poisons also kill hawks and owls. Connecticut Audubon supports banning 2nd-generation rodenticides.

Red-tailed Hawk photo by Richard Stone. Almost all Red-tails brought in to Tufts veterinarian school had rodenticides in their systems.

February 16, 2023 — Poisons that target rats and mice are especially insidious when it comes to birds. We submitted testimony in Hartford yesterday supporting a ban.

These poisons are known as second generation rodenticides because they were developed after rodents built up resistance to earlier rodenticides. The second generation rodenticides don’t kill rats and mice immediately. The animals survive for a while and become easy prey for hawks, owls, eagles and other birds.

That’s bad news because when the birds eat the poisoned rodents, they themselves become poisoned.

As the legislative session moves along, we might need you to speak out in favor of this bill.

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Here’s our testimony to the Connecticut General Assembly’s Environment Committee:

Testimony of The Connecticut Audubon Society regarding S.B. No. 962 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING THE USE OF CERTAIN RODENTICIDES. 

February 14, 2023

The Connecticut Audubon Society would like to express its strong support for S.B. No. 962 “An Act Concerning the Use of Certain Rodenticides.” This bill would prohibit the use of second-generation rodenticides, which would help preserve hawk and other raptor populations in the state.

Second generation rodenticides were developed several decades ago after rats and mice built up resistance to earlier rodenticides. Rats and mice make up a considerable amount of the natural prey of the state’s raptors and other birds. These include several species that have only recently recovered from near extinction, such as Bald Eagle and Peregrine Falcon, as well as other hawks, vultures, ravens and owls. 

The second generation rodenticides are a particular problem for raptors because the rodenticides don’t immediately kill the rodents that ingest them. The poisoned but still-alive rats and mice then become easy prey for the raptors. 

Once ingested by the raptors these persistent chemicals are almost always fatal, even if the bird is brought to a rehabilitation facility. These chemicals are even affecting non-rodent eating raptors such as falcons and Cooper’s Hawks, suggesting they may be persistent in the environment and moving up the food chain through insects and songbirds. 

A recent study by the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine showed that nearly 100% of Red-tailed Hawks that were brought in had rodenticides in their systems, some of which were at lethal levels:

Please help us to address this important issue by supporting S.B. No. 962     .   

Thank you so much for the opportunity to provide input to this important proposal today. 






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