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Warning sign

A warning sign sits next to a sodium cyanide coyote trap on ranch land south of Casper, Wyo. in 2012.

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — U.S. wildlife officials have agreed to stop using a certain cyanide trap to help control predators on 10 million acres of public lands in Wyoming.

In a court-approved agreement resulting from a lawsuit brought by wildlife advocacy groups, the U.S. Agriculture Department's Wildlife Services agreed to stop using M-44 devices in the state. Embedded in the ground and looking like lawn sprinklers, M-44s spray cyanide when triggered by animals attracted by bait.

The federal agency had previously stopped using the devices in other western states.

The Wyoming agreement also requires the federal agency to analyze the environmental impacts of killing coyotes, bobcats, and other predators in the state and impose new trapping restrictions. Further, it needs to adopt additional trapping protections to prevent inadvertent grizzly bear deaths.

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