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CT legislature again considers ban on rodenticides

A Red Shouldered Hawk.
Molly Ingram
/
WSHU
A Red Shouldered Hawk.

Connecticut lawmakers are again considering a bill to ban certain rodenticides in response to an increase in sick birds.

The bill would ban all second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides — a rodent poison meant to kill mice and rats.

The poison remains in the tissue of dead rodents for up to 100 days, and can kill birds who eat the dead animals. It can also harm pets that ingest the poisoned rodents.

Audrey Olszewski, a cub scout from Middlefield, asked lawmakers to pass the bill to protect the birds she hears outside her bedroom window.

“I would miss my owls,” Olszewski said. “I would miss my red tail hawks that fly overhead, and not only me, but everyone would miss them. I would also hate to come home and find my cat dying a horrible death because he had caught one of the poisoned rats and eaten it.”

State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) said he supports the legislation after finding a hawk that had been poisoned in his front yard.

“We see this all the time now with these animals, that they're ingesting these rodenticides,” Duff said. “And it's something that we can do something about, it's something that we have control over.”

A similar bill failed to pass last session. The only state to ban the poisons is California.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.