14-year-old Canyon Mansfield was playing with his dog in the backyard of his Idaho home when something horrific happened. Minutes after he reached the top of a hill to play, Canyon was knocked to the ground by a cyanide bomb. The cyanide bomb, set by the U.S. government, detonated just 350 yards away from the doorstep of the family’s home.
While Canyon and his 3-year-old yellow Labrador were playing, Canyon noticed a small pipe sticking out of the ground. On the property where the family had been living for 10 years, an M-44 device had been planted by the USDA without their knowledge. The orange cyanide from the bomb blew into the wind and sprayed Canyon’s left eye and his clothing. The cyanide also sprayed Casey, Canyon’s dog.
Canyon said, “I look over and see him having a seizure. I ran over and he had these glassy eyes. He couldn’t see me, and he had this red stuff coming out of his mouth.” By the time Canyon’s father got to Casey, he was gone.
Theresa Mansfield, Canyon’s mother, said they are devastated by the event. “My dog died in less than two minutes. My son was rushed to the hospital covered in cyanide.”
M44’s Are Being Used By The U.S. Government
This event is one of several incidents in which family pets were killed by M-44’s. A similar case recently occurred in Wyoming. The controversial device is being used by Wildlife Services – a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture – to destroy animals seen as threats to people, agriculture and the environment.
Many critics are up in arms about the cyanide bombs, including Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore. He says the government taxpayer-funded Predator Control program has random killing methods which are illegal at times.
DeFazio told Fox News, “The recent deaths of dogs in Idaho and Wyoming are the latest unnecessary tragedies of the USDA’s Wildlife Services use of M-44 cyanide traps. These deadly traps have killed scores of domestic animals, and sooner or later, they will kill a human.”
Defazio plans to reintroduce a House bill that would ban the use of the devices for predator control, if passed into law. The government maintains that the cyanide devices are not capable of killing a child. Idaho authorities disagree, due to the fact that Canyon Mansfiled weighed only 20 pounds more than his 80-pound Labrador who was killed.
Capt. Dan Argyle of the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office said Canyon is lucky to be alive. He also said that Wildlife Services is required by law to post warning signs around the devices, but there were no signs at the location. Authorities found a second device within yards of the Mansfield family home. Both devices were planted on February 25. The family had no knowledge of the devices, nor did they give consent for them to be planted on their property.