While healthy Californians are being forced by Gov. Gavin Newsom to stay home more than ever over the COVID-19 flu virus, and mask-up when going out, California’s homeless vagrant population continues to flourish unabated by city officials or local police.
And now, the bill to ban rodenticides, shelved in 2019, miraculously emerged from the ashes of the 2019 Suspense file.
California Globe has learned that the bill, AB 1788 by Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), was actually ordered back to life by Gov. Gavin Newsom, despite that it could not pass in 2019.
AB 1788 is being sold to the public as a measure needed to protect the California mountain lions and other wildlife from being poisoned by rat poison. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Pesticide Regulation already regulate these products for efficacy, human health impacts and impacts to the environment.
Apparently Gov. Newsom’s father, William Newsom, championed a ballot initiative 30 years ago, approved by voters, that banned mountain lion hunting in the state, the Sacramento Bee reported. “The initiative was approved in part because it secured protections for ranchers to shoot mountain lions that kill or maim their livestock.”
Proposition 117 prohibited the sport hunting of the California Mountain Lion, and required that California spend no less than $30 million a year on wildlife habitat protection.
However, this initiative is making it harder for Gov. Newsom to stop California’s mountain lions from getting trapped and shot. And environmentalists are putting pressure on the governor as they seek further protections for the lions under the state’s Endangered Species Act. Apparently, there are more livestock-killing mountain lions shot and killed in California today by ranchers, than ever were hunted and killed prior to Prop. 117’s passage.
Really, Gov. Newsom should recuse himself from involvement with AB 1788, as the Bee explained in February:
Newsom “expressed a deep emotional attachment to the species tied so closely to his father and to his childhood. To me it’s a romantic thing,” Newsom said. “I was a kid shooting mountain lions by taking photographs of them. Others would tree the mountain lions and shoot them at point-blank range, claiming that was some rite of passage, some big tough thing to do when these things are easily treed by dogs.”
But there is a giant disconnect here between the desire to protect the mountain lions, and the use of rat poison in urban areas. Environmental groups claim 9 in every 10 dead mountain lions state scientists test have the rat poison toxins in their livers. However, similar to the Coronavirus in which many test positive for having, it does not kill them.
Pesticide experts say there is no way a small amount of rat poison could kill a mountain lion.
Homeless Vagrants and the Filth They Live in and Leave Behind
Because while Los Angeles, and other large California cities continue to experience rat infestations, hepatitis, typhus and even Bubonic Plague due to homeless encampments, also thrive.
And AB 1788 will ban the very product needed — Rodenticides – rodent poisons. Gov. Newsom even said in his State of the State speech in February 2019, “Our homeless crisis is increasingly becoming a public-health crisis,” citing outbreaks of hepatitis A in San Diego county, syphilis in Sonoma county, and typhus in Los Angeles county. He added in unbelief, “Typhus … a medieval disease. In California. In 2019.”
Medieval diseases making a comeback
Last weekend officials in South Lake Tahoe warned residents rodents carrying fleas infected with bubonic plague were in the area.
Los Angeles is a hotbed for Hepatitis A and Typhus outbreaks.
Notably, last year, the California Environmental Protection Agency headquarters building in downtown Sacramento fought a rat infestation for more than five weeks. Apparently their “environmentally friendly” modes of rattus-rattus eradication did not work.
CalEPA regulates rat poison… and its own building was infested with rattus-rattus. “The California Department of Pesticide Regulation enforces a ban passed in 2014 on super-toxic rodenticide-use beyond 50 feet of man-made structures,” CBS13 reported.
Last year, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento and other large California cities experienced significant rat infestations within homeless camps.
This year, amid the coronavirus pandemic, Southern California homes appear to be experiencing a dramatic jump in rat infestations, according to pest control companies.
Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an “aggressive” rat warning that rodent populations are increasing in the U.S. as rats search for sources of food other than restaurant dumpsters, which for the large part remain bare due to closures during the pandemic, KRON4 reported.
- The closure of restaurants and bars, the halting of the tourism industry and a lack of foot traffic in urban areas have had a severe impact on rat populations around the country.
- Rats have been taking to the streets in packs, sometimes in the daylight, emboldened by hunger.
Opposed to AB 1788 are the American Chemistry Council, Animal and Insect Pest Management, Inc. Animal Pest Management Services, Inc. California Apartment Association, California Chamber of Commerce, California Landscape Contractors Association, California Manufacturers and Technology Association, California Retailers Association, California Restaurant Association, California Waterfowl, Household & Commercial Products Association, National Federation of Independent Business, National Pest Management Association, RISE, Syngenta, and Western Plant Health Association.
In a letter addressed to Governor Newsom, the coalition said, “We appreciate the author’s concerns with the impacts these products may have on non-target wildlife, however we question whether this ban will significantly protect wildlife, while it is likely to exacerbate public health risks and property damage. The wildlife impacts appear to be centered in one region, where a more targeted approach would likely prove more effective than a statewide ban with a patch work of exemptions.”
California Globe learned that the one region where a targeted approach would be more effective is the bill’s author’s own district in the Santa Monica mountains. The coalition apparently asked Assemblyman Bloom to narrow the scope of the bill and target it to the Santa Monica Mountains, to no avail, proving that this is a special interest bill in search of a problem.
Ironically, Santa Monica restaurants are suing the city of Santa Monica for rat infestations. A commercial property owner alleges two topiaries sculpted as dinosaurs are home to rodents that roam near where people are dining outdoors during the coronavirus pandemic, ABC 7 reported.
Again, while healthy Californians have been locked down, cities won’t get rid of disease carrying rats.
Some lawmakers offered pushback and suggested cities and the Legislature should be targeting the illegal homeless vagrants instead.
Increased infestations of rodents that carry diseases like the plague and typhus which can be transferred to humans are on the rise. Unfortunately, AB 1788 would limit the ability of pest control operators to use the most effective tools to control rodent colonies around apartment buildings, restaurants, grocery stores and other homes and businesses throughout the state. In the middle of the greatest public health crisis in recent times, the Legislature and governor should be focused on further protecting public health, not adding to the risk.