BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A powerful, illegal chemical used to rid crops of bugs may be killing certain birds on the Eastern Shore.
Seven bald eagles and a horned owl have been found dead with traces of the carbofuran in their systems- likely, secondary poisoning from a poisoned animal the birds ate.
“It does have acute toxicity to various animals. So, an animal may eat it and then die. And you may have a secondary poisoning from that,” said Russ Noratel with Department of Natural Resources.
Carbofuran was banned in the US in 2009, but some farmers have continued to use it illegally.
Experts also believe the chemical poisoned 13 other eagles, found dead in a Caroline County field three years ago.
Natural resource experts are hoping they can get the word out to farmers- who could face a $25,000 fines or prison time for using the pesticide.
“I would tell any farmer to contact the pesticide regulation section as far as disposal. If you have the product, contact us immediately please so we can advise you how to dispose of it properly,” Noratel said.
An investigation by Fish and Wildlife Service continues at this time.