Wash. landfill poisons 3,000 starlings - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Wash. landfill poisons 3,000 starlings

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WALLA WALLA, Wash. (AP) - A Walla Walla, Wash., official recently poisoned an estimated 3,000 starlings that had been calling a city landfill home. It was the second time the Sudbury Landfill has resorted to poisoning the birds.

Now landfill supervisor Dennis Rakestraw tells the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin that he won't use the poison again "because of the people." The newspaper says the mass kill left a couple of the landfill neighbors' yards littered with dead birds.

In the future, Rakestraw says he'll rely on noise makers to scare the birds. In 2010 and again in mid-December, Rakestraw used a federally approved toxin. City crews cleaned up the dead birds. Still, neighbor Mike Johnson says that each time he saw hundreds of dead starlings on his property and that of his neighbor.

Rakestraw estimates as many as 5,000 unwanted starlings were living at the landfill. He cited disease, cleanup costs and equipment deterioration among the reasons he wanted to get rid of them.