Raptors Are The Solution


We want to see all anticoagulant and other poisonous rodenticides taken off the market due to their dangerous impacts on children, pets, and wildlife. Once all of these dangerous products are removed from store shelves and pest control companies have stopped using poison bait boxes, we will have succeeded in putting ourselves “out of business.” Until then, we will continue our advocacy and education efforts. Part of our work is to educate people about the value of raptors in their midst. RATS is a project of Earth Island Institute, rated a Four Star Charity by Charity Navigator.


Download the very popular poster made for us by Jackie Nott of Sparkly Pony that has gone viral on our Facebook page.

Download our infographic showing how many mice one barn owl can eat in a year.

Download one of our “nesting raptor” posters and put it up in your neighborhood.

Cooper’s hawk
Red-shouldered hawk
Red-tailed hawk
Barn owl
Great horned owl
And last but not least, the Swainson’s hawk! 

Need a bookmark? Download ours here and give to your friends!

And help us get poison off the shelves. Download our brochure (fold in three) and window sign and take them to your local hardware or other store! If you would like some brochures and signs mailed to you, please email us at [email protected] Help us by making a donation!

Here is our brochure for homeowners. (designed for duplex printing)

Download a diagram showing how poison = profits for pest control operators.


The state of California will ban over-the-counter sales of rodenticides to consumers effective July 1, 2014. While it’s a great first step, it will not solve the problem with wildlife and pet poisonings in California. Read more…

Reckitt Benckiser has sued the state over the proposed new regs. Read our joint press release.

See exactly who’s being poisoned with rat poison and watch our latest video by the incredible young filmmaker Ian Timothy.

Also, check out this excellent new web site about safer rodent control, a new coalition that RATS supports.

Read our latest article in the Earth Island Journal.

GOOD NEWS!!!! Good Housekeeping has removed their Seal of Approval from D-Con products. Please thank them on their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/GOODHOUSEKEEPING 


Second-generation anticoagulant products designed to kill rats and mice are also killing birds of prey, pets like dogs and cats, and many species of wildlife, including several endangered species. Recently, the mate of famous New York City red-tailed hawk Pale Male was confirmed to have died from ingesting a poisoned rat. These products are also poisoning children, even when the products are used in accordance with the directions on the packages. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, between 1999 and 2003, 25,549 children under the age of six had poisoning symptoms after exposure to rodenticides. Seventy-two percent had been exposed to a second-generation anticoagulant rodenticide, brodifacoum, the active ingredient in d-Con. These problems continue. See http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/05/11/HO9Q1ODGD6.DTL&type=green and http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/05/18/HO9Q1OGR0P.DTL

In 2008, the U.S. EPA determined that various rodenticides posed an “unreasonable risk” to children, pets, and wildlife. The EPA gave the companies three years to switch to safer products, but three companies—Reckitt-Benckiser, Spectrum, and Liphatech—refused to do so and have tied up the EPA’s cancellation process in lawsuits. As of February 2013, Spectrum and Liphatech have complied, but Reckitt-Benckiser has vowed to continue to fight the EPA–it doesn’t even want to make its packages tamper-proof for children. RB’s products are sold under the D-Con brand. Second-generation anticoagulant rodenticide products contain brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difethialone, and difenacoum, all rodenticide products not packaged with bait stations. These products contain “second generation” anticoagulant compounds that can poison pets and children and cause hawks, owls, and other wildlife to bleed to death.

RATS (RAPTORS ARE THE SOLUTION) is a broad, national alliance of individuals, non-profits, local governments, and others concerned about the ecological impacts of anticoagulant rodenticides. Founded in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2011 after Cooper’s hawks began dying from eating poisoned rats, RATS, with help from our many partners, is working with cities and counties throughout California to encourage them to adopt resolutions discouraging businesses from selling dangerous rodenticides. Read some of the city resolutions here.

37 Responses to Raptors Are The Solution

  1. Sandee Wilson says:

    Hello, a group of very concerned RTH lovers are trying to gather information about rodenticides and get this information out to the people to stop the poisoning. This year has been even more unkind to out hawk families than in the past.
    I am contacting you to ask for help, we need to find out what works and what didn’t in this campaign against rodenticides, and what were your first steps?
    Your web site is so well put together and contains such good information, thank you.
    Any guidance you could give would be much appreciated.

  2. Admin says:

    I will email you.

  3. Richard Evans says:

    What a great website. I am trying to find an email address for someone within your organization that I could ask a few questions regarding rodenticides and RATS. I would appreciate any feedback. Thanks so much!

  4. WE, humans must learn to change our ways, for at the rate we are going, with our chemical warfare, fossil fuel consumption, and exponential population growth, there will be no future for anyone, NOT EVEN HUMANS!

    This littel girl summs it up at the United Nations this year in RIO:


    G. Kaplan, MD

  5. Pamela Hinck says:

    My mother’s Lab died from eating rat poison. I work at a Wildlife hospital where several animals are brought in that have been poisoned by eating an animal that has been killed by rat poison. This is a product, in my opinion, should never have been on the market in the first place.

  6. I support your cause. I have added it to my links page.

  7. Russ Hoeflich says:

    Can you advise on the product sold at ALL Home Depot stores with the active ingredient Bromethalin sold under the name Tomcat mouse Killer X
    Produced by Motomco 3699 Kinsman Blvd Madison WI 53704

    • Admin says:

      Bromethalin is not an anticoagulant. It is a highly toxic poison, however–meaning it kills in one feeding. Not enough is known about its secondary impacts on wildlife at this time. If you could tell us more about your particular pest problem, we could try to offer some suggestions.

      • Scott Gruber says:

        I lost 2 dogs yesterday as a result of bromethalin. No rat poisons are safe for other animals or kids. These toxins should be off the shelves.

        • Admin says:

          Hello Scott,

          We are very very sorry for the loss of your dogs. We couldn’t agree more about getting these products off the shelves–and we’ll keep trying until they are gone.

  8. Greg Cooper says:

    Can anyone tell me how to dispose of d-con poison safely? I thought about taking it to the dump but it is likely that some critter might get into it. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks!

  9. JOSEPH START says:

    From visiting stores selling d-CON rat and mouse poison, that the retail outlets are afraid to confront Reckitt Benckiser.One hardware and garden store sells several products supplied by Reckitt Benckiser.I feel that Reckitt Benckiser is unloading these soon to be band anticoagulants.

    • Admin says:

      Not sure they are “unloading”–they now have 100 percent of the market share, thanks to their unwillingness to comply with EPA. And they will continue to have it during the entire time they clog up EPA’s process with their appeals.

  10. I came upon your site not that long ago and just had to thank you for taking a strong stand against these devastating practices. I’ve been witness to wildlife poisonings, a few where the animals could be successfully rehabilitated, and a few where the physical damage was irreparable. The suffering incurred by poisoned animals, both wild and domestic, is unconscionable. And, the marketing of these poisons — with the attendant ecological harm — is completely unacceptable in my view. I wish you every success in your continued advocacy for better and more humane solutions.

  11. Dave Harper says:

    In Contra Costa they are continuously eradicating ground squirrels. The area is home to Red Tails, Ferruginous, and Swainson Hawks. Not to mention Golden Eagles and Coyotes. This is a County ran program and thought to be safe. I am wondering, is it?

  12. gary york says:

    sorry for off topic post…reg: rodenticides, my aunt was poisioning gophers on her land which is riddled by them and getting worse over 40 yrs now.

    She wondered why she found a dead barn owl!
    also I saw a possum with bad mange there in daytime looking very sick not long after – more evidence of poisons. I built an owl box for her and am trying to get it it installed. She says well they have nests here isn’t that enough?
    no obviously, or you would not have hundreds of gophers still eating your roots!
    I feel like yanking all of these rodent poisons off shelves and putting them in their trash off my local hardware and other stores.

  13. Judith Goe says:

    My Collie was poisoned this spring, probably by either rat or mole poison. He was bleeding copiously through his penis. I rushed him to the veterinarian. Vitamin K saved him. I have no control over what the neighbors use to poison rodents and burrowing animals like moles. Keeping my Collie and all the other animals safe, including wildlife, is my goal. THEY WILL EAT ANYTHING IF THEY ARE HUNGRY, and most will eat anything even if they are not. Please keep the pressure on the companies that will not cooperate. Thank you.

    • Admin says:

      That is a terrible story. I’m glad your dog made it, but he shouldn’t have had to go through that. Do you have a copy of the vet report you could send us? We are compiling these stories and reports. Yes, we will keep the pressure on.

  14. Julie Ostoich says:

    A few years ago, I noticed rodenticide bait traps in the landscape of the Sacramento Natural Foods Coop (SNFC). I contacted the manager and provided information about the dangers of using poison and how it also harms non-targeted wildlife and pets. The reply I got was basically, “we can’t have rats at the coop”. I understand how rats can not be tolerated in the store or buildings, but this method of control is not the solution. I sent another letter with more information, but the bait traps remained and are still in place.

    Recent reports state that rodenticide poisons are causing increasing harm to wildlife and have escalated. Also, wild care rescues report that there is a rise in raptor rehabilitation related to emaciation and the inability of raptors to locate enough food to survive. This is attributed to the use of rodenticides causing a loss of adequate and safe food sources.

    Once again, I have sent information to SNFC including a link to your site and other places of information. I lost a dear and precious cat who was an awesome rat catcher to poisoning by a neighbor who was using rodenticides. This is a big problem for many pet owners as well. The UC Davis Veterinary Hospital also report a rise in companion animal poisonings from these toxic products.

    The Humane Society of the United States had a petition action addressing this issue:
    California: Restrict the Sale of Harmful Rat Poisons

    Thank you for your continued advocacy and help in educating others about this problem.

    • Admin says:


      We are very sorry about your cat. That is very disturbing about a natural foods store, but perhaps not surprising. These poison bait boxes are everywhere. That is the next big issue we are taking on since the EPA is at least trying to do something about over-the-counter sales. If you have a copy of the vet report about your cat, we would love to have it for our records. Or a photo of your cat–we are starting to compile more and more stories and plan to use them in our efforts.

  15. Gina Moreland says:

    What a great organization! – I’ve been concerned about this issue for years, after my cat died of eating a poisoned rat and after noticing that gradually we are not hearing owls or seeing hawks near my Kensington home anymore. Plus a burgeoning rat and gopher problem! I would like to get our community to adopt a resolution and I can approach our one hardware store. Do you have a how-to guide for citizens who want to take this up with their governing bodies? Are the resolutions listed (for nearby cities) on your website approved by the communities? It would be great to see a status update on all these resolutions and if they have the force of law in each community.

  16. CHARLES says:

    I was told that Peet’s coffee is owned by the same entities that benefitted from the sale of rat poison. Is this true?

    • Admin says:

      Hello Charles,

      Yes, it is sort of true. A group of shareholders who own about 10% of Reckitt Benckiser (maker of D-Con) bought Peets.

  17. Thank you, very much, for your wonderful educational mission, the great material and for the plight of a rodenticide-free environment.

    I am glad that you mentioned Palemale the Red-tailed Hawk. I featured him and his lovely family more than once in my blog “For a Better Earth”. I joined the plight for their safe and healthy life following the death by secondary poisoning of Palemale’s former love Lima and one of his infants in Central Park.

    I have recently posted a reference to your great website in my latest blog post about the benefits of raptor nest boxes in rodent control and the danger of the large-scale effects of rodenticides. Only through education and awareness can we help curb the use of rodenticides.


    Thank you!

    • Admin says:

      Thank you Carmen, and thanks for your work as well. Also, thanks for mentioning the Hungry Owl Project, an amazing group we work with here in the Bay Area.

  18. I am based in the UK, working for zea-sciences.com, which makes a non toxic rodenticide from powdered corn cob. We have finally got the European Union to approve the product. There is no risk of secondary poisoning and we are supported by the Barn Owl Trust in the UK. I’m writing to say if there’s anything we can do to help, please let me know.
    Do you mind if I put your you tube clip on our website (giving links back to your website etc)? Thanks in advance for your help
    Claire Haydock. http://www.zea-sciences.com

  19. Here in the UK we are trying to get the regulations changed for the use of second generation anti-coagulants. We have launched our first e-petition and it would be fantastic if you could spread the word about our petition. This would help to protect raptors here in the UK where 84% of Barn Owls, 94% of Red Kites, and 100% of Kestrels contain these highly toxic poisons.
    Our petition is here https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/To_Mike_Penning_MP_and_the_Health_and_Safety_Executive_Save_Britains_Barn_Owls
    Our campaign page is here http://www.barnowltrust.org.uk/infopage.html?Id=343

    • Admin says:

      Hello David,
      We have posted the petition on our Facebook page, which receives a lot of traffic.See separate email to you. Thanks for your great work! Lisa

      • Dear Lisa,
        Thank you so much for sharing our Rodenticides Petition on Facebook and congratulations on getting your 2,000th ‘Like’ on your Facebook page. We now have over 24,000 signatures and rising! Please do let me know if you launch a petition – I’d love to sign it!
        Kind regards,
        David Ramsden
        Barn Owl Trust

  20. Vicki Leeds says:

    Letting you know…we were being overrun by both Norway rats and wood rats. They were eating our chicken food which was kept in an open feeder in the coop. We moved the feeder to the most open place on our property (which isn’t really very open). There is a fairly long row of eucalyptus trees on neighboring property which is home to both great horned owls and red tail hawks. Within a very short time, the rat population was decimated. I just wish I could have witnessed some of these great hunters in action!

  21. Rachel Calder says:

    What a wonderful and informative website. Last week we had two of our dogs suffer from rodenticide poisoning. Sadly we were too late on noticing the signs and we lost our 50 lb Australian Shepherd. Three days later, I noticided the signs in our 100 lb lab and immediately seeked medical attention. After two plasma transfusion, he has pulled through and looks like he will make a full recovery. After talking with neighbors in the area, we possibly think this could have been intention. The most frustrating thing is not being able to prove it. Is there any action we can take in trying to get this poison banned and off the market? I have considered writing a state official a letter, but not sure if this would do any good. Any information you can supply would greatly be appreciated.

    • Admin says:

      Hello Rachel,

      I am so sorry to hear about your dogs being poisoned. I am not sure where you live, but I would recommend starting to put up posters in your neighborhood about what has happened to your dog and asking people to stop using poison. We have some downloadable posters, too, on our home page featuring raptors. The State of California is trying to ban these products right now but the maker of d-Con has sued. You might want to try getting your city to ask stores to voluntarily remove the products from the shelves. See our home page– we have several sample resolutions. I wish more veterinarians would get involved. Maybe yours would be willing to pass out some information?

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