Cyanide Device On U.S. Land Near Pocatello Broke Agency Policy

Mar 28, 2017

This March 16, 2017 file photo released by the Bannock County Sheriff's Office shows a cyanide device in Pocatello, Idaho. The cyanide device, called M-44, is spring-activated and shoots poison that is meant to kill predators.
Credit AP

Officials say a cyanide device for killing coyotes that spewed the poison on a boy and killed his dog was set up on public land in Idaho in February despite a decision months earlier to halt use of the devices on all of the state's U.S.-owned land.

The device activated March 16 when 14-year-old Canyon Mansfield and his dog checked it out 300 yards (275 meters) from their home. The boy suffered headaches.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management told The Associated Press Tuesday the device was put there by the U.S. Agriculture Department in late February.

An Agriculture Department document said it would stop using the devices last November on federally owned Idaho land to reduce health risks to people and domestic animals.

The department says it is investigating.