(PESTICIDES/ANIMAL CONTROL) IDAHO — An Idaho rancher poisoned two neighborhood dogs when he placed pesticide-infected meat around his property, hoping to kill a group of trespassing coyotes. The pesticide he used, Carbofuran, is illegal and ultimately killed one neighborhood dog and sickened another. The rancher apologized for his actions after paying a $1,500 fine and $700 in restitution to the guardians of the two dogs. Is $2,200 equal to the life and health of two beloved pets? And what about the fact that he planned to kill animals, using one of the most toxic and dangerous pesticides that exists? Tell us what you think. — Global Animal

Capital Press, Sean Ellis

The rancher attempted to use the pesticide to kill a pack of coyotes who had been spotted around his property. Photo Credit: National Geographic

Martin L. Jamison, of New Plymouth, was sentenced in U.S. District Court Aug. 10 for using carbofuran to control predators. The pesticide, which is not authorized for predator control, was ingested by two dogs owned by neighbors.

One of the dogs died and the other was sickened.

Carbofuran has been effectively banned since 2009 because the Environmental Protection Agency has prohibited residue from the chemical from appearing on food crops.

Jamison, 46, pleaded guilty to violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, a Class C misdemeanor which carries a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.

U.S. District Court Judge Ronald E. Bush fined Jamison $1,500 and ordered him to pay $700 restitution to the owners of the two dogs — $550 to the owner of the dog that died and $150 for veterinary bills to the owner of the dog that got sick.

He was also placed on probation for three months to ensure all registered pesticides or chemicals on his property are lawfully possessed and stored.

According to court documents, Jamison hired a person to trap gophers on his property in March 2010. When the person noticed coyotes were taking the dead gophers and traps, Jamison said he would “take care of it.”

He placed meat in plastic bags around the gopher holes and told the person not to touch the meat because it was “nasty stuff.”

Labeling on carbofuran states that it is prohibited from being used as a poison for baiting mammals or birds.

A turkey vulture died after ingesting the chemical and Jamison could have also been charged with violating the Migratory Bird Act.

Jamison could not be reached for comment and his attorney did not return phone calls.

George Breitsameter, assistant U.S. Attorney for Idaho, said Bush recognized Jamison was remorseful, but at the same time wanted to send a strong message that carbofuran is extremely dangerous and shouldn’t be misused.

Besides imposing the fines, Bush also castigated Jamison for being reckless and irresponsible for using a toxic substance that was a risk to other animals as well, Breitsameter said.

The government recommended the court not impose any jail time in the case and Bush agreed.

“It was pretty clear Mr. Jamison’s intent was to deal with predators, not to kill somebody’s dogs,” Breitsameter said.

Carbofuran is marketed under the trade name Furadan by FMC Corp. and was previously used by some farmers to control soil-borne pests. It is still registered for use on certain crops, but because EPA has prohibited traces of it from being on food crops, its use is effectively prohibited.

More Capital Press: http://www.capitalpress.com/content/se-pesticide-rancher-081911