In a Letter to the Editor published in the Austin American-Statesman, Austin resident Ann Hudspeth claimed that Texas ranks first nationally in the number of animals killed using cyanide traps. Is that a fact? Gardner Selby of the Politifact Texas fact-checking team has the answer.
“Fourteen states are using cyanide bombs to kill wildlife,” Hudspeth wrote in her letter, “and Texas leads the country in sodium cyanide M-44s.”
Hudspeth, a volunteer with the Humane Society of the United States, says thousands of coyotes, foxes, possums, raccoons and skunks are killed by these devices.
She supports legislation sponsored by U.S. Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) that would outlaw sodium cyanide-based traps.
Currently, a sub-agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with the permission of landowners, places M-44 devices on private land to control predators. An M-44 is a small device with a fuse that is triggered when an animal encounters it. When the fuse is triggered, the animal draws cyanide into its mouth and dies.
Hear how Ann Hudspeth’s claim scored in the player above.