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Federal prosecutors allege that two men poisoned migratory birds in Beaver County

Red-winged Blackbird
Alan Diaz
A red-winged blackbird perches in the Everglades National Park, Fla., Monday, April 23, 2012.

Two men face criminal charges related to the unlawful killing of federally-protected migratory birds in Beaver County.

Federal prosecutors allege that Robert Yost of Yost Farms directed his employee, Jacob Reese, to lace kernel corn with a highly toxic pesticide, carbofuran, and then spread the feed in a soybean field so as to attract birds.

Prosecutors say the men then destroyed the feed bag that held the poisoned corn.

Carbofuran creates what some call a “cycle of death” because animals who scavenge the carcasses of animals poisoned with the pesticide can also die.

The Environmental Protection Agency banned use of the chemical in late 2009 for environmental reasons, and because it is toxic to humans. Poisoning can result in failure of the respiratory system and a host of other ailments including incontinence, excessive salivation and blurred vision.

A reported 17 Canada geese, 10 red-winged blackbirds and one mallard duck allegedly died near the soybean field after eating the corn. Prosecutors say the area is close to where domesticated animals and children were regularly present.

The two men could face up to 13 months in prison and a $31,000 fine. WESA was unable to reach either defendant for comment.