Newsom signs bill restricting use of rodenticides

Henry Stern, Feel The Stern,
State Sen. Henry Stern. Courtesy photo

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill that prohibits the use of some of the most potent rodenticides until the Department of Pesticides Regulation certifies a completed reevaluation of the pest control chemicals.

In addition to a reevaluation, Assembly Bill 1788, co-authored by Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, and state Sen. Henry Stern, D-Calabasas, also prohibits the use of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides until the department, in consultation with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, has “adopted any additional restrictions necessary to ensure that its continued use is not reasonably expected to result in significant adverse effects to non-target wildlife, as provided.”

Second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides are considered “substantially more potent” than the previous compounds and “a lethal dose can be ingested in a single feeding,” according to the Safe Rodent Control website. 

“California’s wildlife is hurtling down the path of extinction, especially the lions of the Santa Monica Mountains, and the reckless use of rat poison is a major driver,” said a prepared statement from Stern, who is also the chairman of the Senate Natural Resources & Water Committee. “This is one of three key pieces needed to stop extinction on our watch: poison, poaching and passage.” 

The bill exempts the use of the second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides in certain locations and under specified conditions, such as the use by any governmental agency employee for public health activities or by a mosquito or vector control district to protect the public health. 

AB 1788 will take effect on Jan. 1.

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