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Environment

Rodent Poisoning Harms Wildlife, Raptors

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The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife noticed an uptick of wild animals killed by rodent poison this fall.

ODFW Veterinarian Julia Burco says a lot of times, the problem stems from people not reading directions carefully enough. She says people may notice they have rodent problems but might not think of the consequences of other animals directly or indirectly ingesting bait.

Burco: "That rat could have some toxin in its body and still be able to wonder off outside, potentially and there could be a raptor or a bobcat or a fox that could ingest that rodent that has the toxin in its body. So, people kind of forget that it has to be in an enclosed area where it is not going to have exposure to other animals or wildlife."

Burco says owls are especially vulnerable because their diet consists mainly of mice and rats. She says the most humane way to deal with rodent problems is to use mechanical traps or employ a licensed wildlife control operator.

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