Today, I want to celebrate the removal from the marketplace of one of the most toxic, indiscriminate, and dangerous rat and mouse poisons. On April 1, Reckitt Benckiser Inc., the manufacturer of d-Con brand mouse and rat poisons - and the sole holdout against US Environmental Protection Agency requirements to forbid the most harmful of poisons widely sold - stopped the distribution and sale of products containing "second generation anticoagular rodenticides" or SGARs, that have caused serious health problems for children and death to pets and countless wild animals.
Anticoagulants like SGARs are called "super poisons" because they bring on a slow death which usually occurs a week or two after ingestion. Their toxicity and persistence is unrivaled. For years, labeling on d-Con boxes flatly boasted the product kills in a single feeding. Often times though, rodents continue to eat a load of the product, building up very high levels of the poison in their tissues.
The rodents die a miserable death, but the poison remains lethal after it does the first job. Hawks, owls, and other raptors feed on poisoned animals, both dead and alive, and they fall victim too, as the poison climbs the trophic ladder. The same is true for other animals who feed on the poisoned animals.