The Malibu City Council will place a resolution opposing the sale and purchase of rodenticide in the City of Malibu on an upcoming agenda.
The resolution was spearheaded by the Malibu Agricultural Society, a group that promotes natural gardening practices and warns against the dangers of herbicides and pesticides, said Kian Schulman, the society’s secretary.
Schulman said City Councilman John Sibert told her in an email he would be presenting the resolution to the council in the near future.
“This really means a lot to us that we’ve got this resolution on the agenda,” she said.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that anticoagulants in rat poison can kill hawks, mountain lions and bobcats that catch poisoned rats.
“The statistics on our wildlife are horrendous,” Schulman said.
She said 74 percent of wild mountain lions and 95 percent of wild bobcats had been exposed to rodenticide in their systems over the past five years.
Rodenticides have also been linked to poisoning in pets and children, she added.
San Francisco, Berkeley and Marin are among other California cities where the sale of rodenticides is limited.
Malibu already bans the use of poison on city property and parks, Schulman said.
The Malibu Agricultural Society first became aware of the problem when a mountain lion was found dead with traces of rodenticide in its system last October, Schulman said.
“We said, ‘Well, what can we do? What can we do as a group?’”
The society joined other groups, including the Topanga Wildlife Youth Project and the Santa Monica Mountains Fund, in raising awareness about the dangers of rodenticides in California.
The society first introduced the resolution to control the sale of rodenticide to the Malibu City Council in January 2013, Schulman said.
Getting it on the agenda has taken time, but it was worth it, she said.
“Having this resolution means a lot to our project,” she said. “It gives accreditation to what we say.”
Another one of the society’s main goals is to educate people and companies about alternatives to poisoning, Schulman said.
The society recommends people seal holes in their homes to stop rodents from entering them, and then use live traps to catch any rats that are left inside and release them outside.
The society also advocated for local stores to stop selling rodenticide.
The Malibu CVS, Ralphs, Pavilions, Anawalt Lumber and A & B Malibu Plumbing have all stopped carrying rodenticide, Schulman said.
Anawalt Lumber hasn’t sold rat poison for almost a year, said Herbert Castio, a supervisor at Anawalt Lumber.
“The community didn’t approve, so we’ve taken it off,” he said.
The company that supplied the rodenticide said it only killed the animal that ate the poison first, but Malibu residents weren’t convinced, Castio said.
“Most of the residents were very adamant about it being a secondhand kill. Whoever eats the rat, be it a cat or a dog or a wild animal, ends up dying as well,” Castio said.
Although other stores in the Anawalt Lumber chain continue to sell rodenticide, Malibu is different.
“There, you don’t have that whole wildlife situation that you have here,” Castio said. “Here it’s very different.”
Anawalt Lumber still carries live animal traps and electronic pest deterrents, as well as traditional mouse traps, he said.