December 29, 2022

Fields of Poison


Fields of Poison
Dead crane in a field in Stavropol. Investigative Committee of The Russian Federation for the Stavropol Krai.

Thousands of common cranes and other animals have been found poisoned with illegal pesticides in Stavropol Krai, Kommersant reported on December 23.

In November, social media posts began to appear showing masses of dead birds and other animals scattered across fields in Stavropol. Some of the subspecies of dead cranes documented are on the Red List of Endangered Species. In the wake of the posts, 43,000 persons have signed a petition demanding an end to the killing. 

Investigators found that the birds ingested grain infused with zinc phosphide, a banned chemical used as a rodenticide on agricultural land. The substance's destructive potential on the agricultural systems and land is concerning. The inspections identified 12 agro producers as possible culprits. Officials have drawn up protocols against them for "improper handling of pesticides and agrochemicals."

Whether these will turn into prosecutions remains to be seen.

 

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