LETHAL CONTROL: A Film Exposing the Public Safety Menace Posed by M-44s

This heart-grabbing documentary features people we've worked with over the years whose lives have been forever changed by M-44 "cyanide bombs." Once you meet them in this film, you'll truly understand why M-44s must be banned.

Screenshot from M-44 film, Lethal Control

About the Film

LETHAL CONTROL is a poignant 52-minute documentary made by graduate student Jamie Drysdale as his final project for a masters in environmental journalism from the University of Montana. The film features interviews with a number of M-44 victims we've helped over the years, Read interview with filmmaker in Psychology Today

Photo of film director Jamie Drysdale

Drysdale immersed himself with great sensitivity and attention to detail in interviews with people we've worked with over the years whose lives were forever changed by lethal M-44 cyanide bombs. They were either poisoned, or lost their dog(s)...or BOTH.

The latter category includes the Mansfield family of Pocatello, Idaho, who is extensively interviewed in the film, along with the local sheriff. The Mansfield's 14-year-old son Canyon went out for a walk with his dog on a hill behind his house in 2017 and saw something that looked like a sprinkler head. When he touched it a powdery substance exploded from the device. His dog Kasey died a horrifying death within minutes in front of him and Canyon has suffered long-term health effects from the poison. But Canyon decided not to simply be a victim. He is now an activist to ban M-44s. He and his family traveled with us to Washington, D.C. in April 2019 to push for federal legislation to ban M-44s nationwide.

This film brings home the unacceptable legacy (and ongoing travesty) of federal poisoning campaigns and makes a powerful case for a ban on M-44s.

Screenings

We're pleased to share we held the first public screening of this heart-grabbing film on March 2, 2019 at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference at the University of Oregon. The second screening was April 1 at Eaton Theater in Washington, D.C., and was followed by an educational briefing for Congressional staff on April 2. These events were followed by three screenings in Idaho: May 16 in Ketchum, May 17 in Boise, and May 18 in Pocatello.

To allow people around the world to watch the film, the filmmaker made now made it available online here.

About M-44s

Government agents in USDA Wildlife Services set M-44s for coyote control, but these devices indiscrimately poison humans and kill countless dogs and non-target animals. M-44s can never be used safely, as no small child, dog, or wild animal can read warning signs, and there is no place in the great outdoors that people and animals do not go. M-44s are a public safety menace and must be banned.

Legislation

We have been actively involved in initiating and supporting both national and state-level efforts to effect a ban on M-44s since 1990. Our work kicked into even higher gear in 2019, with the following results:

  • Oregon has banned M-44s statewide, joining California and Washington to create a West Coast free from "cyanide bombs." The Oregon vote was almost unanimous and the ban goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020. Details
  • Congressman Peter DeFazio reintroduced bipartisan legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives on May 2, 2019 to ban M-44s nation-wide. Details

News Coverage