The Idaho family of a dog that was killed by an unmarked cyanide device has filed a White House petition to outlaw the devices from being used.
Canyon's Law would ban the federal government from using M-44 cyanide devices, cyanide and Compound 1080 poison.
Canyon Mansfield, 14, was walking his dog near their Pocatello, Idaho, home when he came upon what appeared to be a pipe sticking out from the ground. As he bent down to inspect it, the pipe began releasing orange gas all over Mansfield and his yellow lab, Casey. Mansfield was able to wipe the poison off his face with snow, but his dog Casey wasn't so fortunate. Mansfield watched in horror as his dog began to have seizures and eventually suffocated to death.
The M-44 devices are used by the Wildlife Services department as predator control, primarily to keep the coyote population in the area under control. Multiple agencies decided to ban the use of these devices on all federal land in Idaho in 2016, but Wildlife Services has been found to have violated the ban.
"Wildlife Services uses cyanide to indiscriminately kill unintended animals and injure humans despite more scientifically sound methods of predator control available for ranchers. The USDA maintains they resolve conflict between wildlife and people 'in the safest and most humane ways possible' but the nature of the cyanide bomb is neither safe nor humane," the petition reads. "Cyanide gas has been used throughout history to murder masses of people. 126 million tax dollars are wasted annually using this method. Canyon’s Law will ban by federal law the use of the M-44 cyanide device, cyanide and Compound 1080 poison in the people’s USA."
Once the petition receives 100,000 signatures, the White House should review it and respond within 60 days.
Canyon's mother, Theresa Mansfield, told TheBlaze that her son has been suffering from terrible headaches since the incident on March 16, and his doctors have linked the headaches to the cyanide exposure. She also said she created the petition to spread awareness that the devices are being used.
"I am surprised at how many people had no idea what these cyanide bombs were. No one is aware of these cyanide bombs. Our government has been hiding them from us, " Theresa Mansfield told TheBlaze. "How many other things is our government hiding from us? It's like a loaded gun cocked, all you have to do is touch it and it kills."
According to the USDA's website, Wildlife Services spent $99 million in taxpayer funds to kill 2.7 million native animals in 2016, and around 16 percent of those animals were killed using the M-44 devices.
"My goal behind this petition is to make people aware. We can get something good out of this tragedy by protecting other people," Mansfield said.
The family's petition can be found here.