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Update: Officials Confirm Portland Crows Were Poisoned

The Oregon State Veterinary Diagnostic Lab and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife have confirmed that the crows observed “falling from the sky” and suffering seizures on the ground in NE Portland on January 30, 2018 were poisoned with a neurotoxin sold under the name “Avitrol.”

Update: Officials Confirm Portland Crows Were Poisoned

Photo by Linda Tanner

*Update as of 3/8/18: Oregon Department of Agriculture which regulates sale and use of pesticides in Oregon has opened investigation into the crow poisonings in NE Portland.

The Oregon State Veterinary Diagnostic Lab and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife have confirmed that the crows observed “falling from the sky” and suffering seizures on the ground in NE Portland on January 30, 2018 were poisoned with a neurotoxin sold under the name “Avitrol.”  

Avitrol is a restricted use pesticide that can only be administered by a licensed pesticide applicator due to its “acute oral and dermal toxicity” and “extreme toxicity to mammals and birds.” The label requires that “people (other than authorized handlers) and pets must be kept away from treated bait and dead and dying birds at all times. Only protected handlers may be in the area during the bait application and until all dead birds and unused bait is retrieved.” The EPA specifies the “birds that die as a result of application must be disposed of by burial or incineration in order to minimize secondary poisoning to predatory species. In order to mitigate risk to predatory species, the authorized handler must not leave the site until all dead or dying birds and unused bait are retrieved from the site.”  

The person(s) who placed this poison out in our community likely violated at least two federal laws: the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). They caused the crows to suffer a cruel and inhumane death and they put people, pets and non-target wildlife at real risk of secondary exposure. 

Portlanders place great value on our local wildlife. This poisoning event was inhumane, irresponsible, and most likely illegal. 

For more information contact Audubon Conservation Director, Bob Sallinger 503 380-9728, bsallinger@audubonportland.org

Crow by Heath Parsons
Photo by Heath Parsons
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