Government “Cyanide Bomb” in Idaho Injures 14-Year-Old Boy and Kills His Dog

There is a highly disturbing case out of Idaho where a 14-year-old boy and his ellow Labrador retriever, Casey, were poisoned by a “cyanide bomb” planted by U.S. government.  In a truly baffling act, the Wildlife Services of U.S. Department of Agriculture planted the device to kill coyotes, wolves, cougars, foxes and other animals considered nuisances for farmers and ranchers.  It seems unbelievably reckless to me to place these devices near trails and farms, even with signs that might be missed in the dark or lost to weather conditions.

Canyon Mansfield, 14, was playing with  Casey near their home when he touched what he thought looked like a sprinkler head. The device erupted and sprayed them with toxic cyanide gas.  Casey died at the scene despite efforts by Canyon;’s father, a physician, to save the dog.

The device is a M-44 and the government has been sued of its use.  Various public interest groups argue that the devices violate federal law and put both animals and humans at risk.  That would seem a compelling argument when the government is placing devices that shoot toxic gas into the air when triggered hear trails or farms. I cannot imagine the logic behind this practice, particularly near populated areas.  Indeed, the local sheriff has said that he was not only never informed of the devices but never heard of them.

In prior litigation like San Juan Audubon Soc’y v. Veneman, 153 F. Supp. 2d 1 (D.D.C. 2001), the environmental groups alleged that the government’s use of its M-44 sodium cyanide ejectors program violates federal rules set by the EPA and that the government regularly misplace the M-44s, leading to the deaths of California condors and other threatened or endangered animals.

This strikes me as a really reckless program and one worthy of potential liability. In the interim, the entire program warrants congressional scrutiny.

What do you think?

81 thoughts on “Government “Cyanide Bomb” in Idaho Injures 14-Year-Old Boy and Kills His Dog”

  1. Dept of Agriculture is just another one of those out-of-control agencies that are supposed to get budgets cuts. It is about time. The liability concerns surrounding cyanide injectors are real and well founded. Those in the Administrative “Chain of Command” should NOT be immune to prosecution, termination of employment, and loss of accrued benefits if they make stupid decisions. What would the EPA do, or try to do, to a private company that chose to use cyanide injectors?

  2. Impossible. Everyone knows that the “government” has everyone’s best interests at heart.

  3. If I as a private citizen engaged in this sort of conduct, causing similar injuries and loss, I would not only be criminally charged (reckless endangerment, reckless injury, etc., here in Wisconsin), I would also be subjected to significant damages in tort.

    No doubt that the governmental employee who perpetrated this wrongdoing will escape prosecution. No doubt that this governmental employee will not be held personally financial liable for his or her negligence and recklessness.

      1. The charges against Lon Horiuchi were dismissed. The government (i.e. the taxpayers) paid the Weaver family for what Horiuchi did to Vicki Weaver; Horiuchi himself was not held financially responsible.

  4. This event shows how out of control are many of the government agencies. The pity is that with the tax money we contribute there would be enough to have a very well organized system. The foundation is already there, however the American people does not believe any longer in the honesty of many of the elected officials and instead of demanding a good job they only complain and expect everything to be fixed by somebody else. We should remember the words in our Constitution, “government by the people for the people”.

  5. How is a toddler or a dog expected to read any signs (apparently AKA “signage”)?

    1. Jeb Bushmeister – since the beginning of the Obama administration all dogs have been required to take courses in reading and recognizing signage. However, in this case, the signage seems to be missing.

  6. Oh our aching narcissistic President will not hear of givernment money 💰 unless it benefits his and his own. How about $14,000 a year single pay medical insurance. Ohh, can’t you smell that smell.

    1. Please. You say this as if Obama is NOT a narcissist? (and for NO reason except his being half black and therefore entitled to it.) At least Trump is not a complete fraud, like Obama was/is.

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