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California Bill Will Add Legal Teeth to Wildlife Protections

California is Expanding Protections Against Environmentally Toxic Rat Poisons by Allowing the Community to Pursue Legal Action Against Offenders

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO— Wildlife protections in California are taking a big step forward with the legal teeth to enforce them. Assemblymember Friedman (D-Burbank) has introduced Assembly Bill 2552, the Poison-Free Wildlife Act of 2024, co-sponsored by the Center for Biological Diversity and Raptors Are The Solution.

We’ve long known that poisons targeted at bothersome pests have fallen far their mark and instead ended up poisoning dogs, cats, foxes, mountain lions, birds, hawks, and even humans. The Poison-Free Wildlife Act will expand the existing rodenticide moratorium in the state to include first-generation anticoagulants chlorphacinone and warfarin, and provide Californians an avenue to pursue legal action.

“There are abundant, affordable, easy to attain, non-toxic alternatives on the market to address pests. It is time to rein in the use of dangerous poisons,” said Assemblymember Laura Friedman.

“Rat poison may be intended to control pests but we know that what it does instead is lead to suffering and death for unrelated innocent wildlife and pets,” said Lisa Owens Viani, Director of Raptors Are The Solution.

In addition to the moratorium on chlorphacinone and warfarin, AB 2552 provides a framework for state regulators that will enable them to develop stricter restrictions for rodenticide use, and allow community members to challenge the illegal use of rodenticides in court.

“If your neighbor poisons your cat, your dog, or even your child with their illegal use of poisons, you deserve your day in court. This bill allows Californians to take action to protect not only their own family and pets, but our wild neighbors as well,” said Assemblymember Laura Friedman.

“The public should be given the chance to challenge those who skirt the law and hurt our pets and wild neighbors,” said J.P. Rose, a senior attorney at the Center. “Animals experience stress, fear and pain. This sensible piece of legislation allows them to be treated with decency and compassion.”

Lives lost or harmed due to rodenticides may not be widely covered, but in 2021 alone, there were more than 3,000 cases of children under the age of eighteen being unintentionally poisoned, including 2,300 cases of children under the age of six.

This bill targets only the most egregious of rodenticides to stop the harm currently being perpetuated. Even with AB 2252, there are still more than one hundred alternatives available for purchase.

AB 2252 will face its first policy committee hearing in April.


Raptors Are The Solution (“RATS”) is a nonprofit project of Earth Island Institute that educates people about the dangers of rat poison in the food web and the ecological role of birds of prey.


Laura Friedman represents 44th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Burbank, Glendale, and Los Angeles, as well as the communities of La Crescenta, Lake View Terrace, Montrose, North Hollywood, Shadow Hills, Sherman Oaks, Sunland-Tujunga, Studio City, Toluca Lake, and Valley Village.