A Pocatello family is back after their legislative trip to Washington D.C. The family’s dog died after exposure to a cyanide bomb just 300 yards behind their house. It’s been four months since the Mansfield family lost their dog Kasey, and could have lost their son Canyon as well. A usual hike up the mountain turned deadly when the 14-year-old boy triggered an M-44 “Cyanide Bomb” behind their house placed there by the USDA. A week ago the family took a trip to D.C. to get lawmakers to join them in banning compound 1080 and chemicals used in M-44’s also known as cyanide bombs.
The Mansfields are back, Mark Mansfield, Canyon’s Father says, “We’ve learned a little bit about passing a bill. It’s hard. You know it’s a lot of work, a lot of footwork, [and] a lot of talking.”
After a near death experience, Canyon and his family took action. They went to the nation’s capital to help introduce a new bill which could become, “Canyon’s Law.”14-year-old Canyon Mansfield says, “The bill, I believe, is going to be passed, and we just got to believe in it. But if it doesn’t, [we have to] just try and raise awareness of these dangerous devices. I don’t want any other boy having to go up there and experience that.”
Over the course of three long days, the Mansfields met with leaders in the house and senate. It included lawmakers from both sides of the aisle. Some who admit they didn’t know cyanide bombs existed. “We had to also teach them that this organization is just completely strange,” Canyon adds, “It’s like a dark branch of government that nobody really follows and overlooks to see if they’re doing the right thing or not.”
With the help of an Oregon’s Democratic Congressman Peter DeFazio, the law is written to ban the use of lethal devices and poisons. Ones like Compound 1080 and chemicals used in M-44’s also known as cyanide bombs. Mark says, “In the House of Representatives it takes several hundred votes to get anything moving. So he’s [Peter DeFazio] gonna have to partner with Idaho Republicans and other Republicans to get it passed, because they all agree this is ridiculous.”
The Mansfields say this is a non-partisan issue, being red or blue doesn’t matter, something needs to change. On the verge of tears Mark says, “Do we need to drag in a dead body to make this bill pass? Because that’s what’s gonna happen. Sooner or later someone’s gonna die. My kid almost died, and I don’t want anyone to die.”