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Dogs killed from herbicide misuse

Release Date: 03/17/2006
Contact Information: Tim Osag, (303) 312-6582, osag.tim@epa.gov; Michael Risner (303) 312-6890, risner.michael@epa.gov

(Denver, Colo - March 20, 2006) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a Notice of Warning to Strasburg resident Dan Bowen for the misuse of the herbicide Paraquat Plus.

Bowen, who lives several miles north of Strasburg, allegedly soaked meat in Paraquat Plus, then placed the meat on nearby property, near the intersection of 56th Avenue and Headlight Road, for the purpose of killing coyotes. Three dogs in the area have died from eating the paraquat-contaminated meat. Other dogs in the area have been exposed to the meat, including two currently being treated for paraquat poisoning. The matter is under investigation by the Adams County Sheriff's Office and the Colorado Department of Wildlife.

EPA urges area residents to keep any pet on a leash and ensure children stay away from any food found outdoors.

Paraquat Plus, a restricted use pesticide, is highly toxic and registered with EPA as an herbicide. Herbicides are used to kill weeds and grasses. The pesticide label has a skull and crossbones graphic with the word "poison" capitalized underneath. The label states: "DANGER: one swallow can kill. Symptoms are prolonged and painful. Onset of symptoms may be delayed for up to three days after swallowing. May be harmful or fatal if absorbed through skin or inhaled. Harmful to skin and eyes. If you come into contact with paraquat, immediately wash with soap and water."

The national pesticide law, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, requires that EPA issue a Notice of Warning for a first-time violation by a private applicator for using a registered pesticide in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.

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