Opinion: Dangerous rat poisons are working their way up the food chain. It’s time to ban them

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To the editor: Thank you for reporting on yet another preventable cougar death, this time of mountain lion P-41 in the Verdugo Mountains. (“Rat poison found in remains of mountain lion P-41, but cause of death still unknown,” Dec. 19)

Though the actual cause of death remains unknown, scientists found rat poison in the mountain lion’s liver. As the article noted, 14 of the 15 of the mountain lion carcasses recovered since 2002 tested positive for anticoagulant rodenticide.

We know these poisons that target squirrels, gophers and other small animals have been a significant factor in the demise of non-targeted species like cougars, coyotes and others.


When will our “progressive” state finally ban rodenticides? A healthy population of predators will keep the numbers of squirrels and gophers under control without adding to the chemical load and its unforeseen consequences.

We are ignoring warnings made by the late Rachel Carson in her 1962 book “Silent Spring.”

Robert Leyland, Los Angeles

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