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MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE KILLING MONARCH CATERPILLARS

Yesterday the Minnesota Department of Agriculture announced that they would begin aerial treatment of gypsy moth infestations in the cities of Duluth and Cloquet on June 15 (today), the second treatment will be 5-14 days later.  Gypsy moth treatment consists of spraying Foray/ Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Btk), an insecticide, over a target area. The decision by local and federal agencies to do this now is quite concerning considering Btk does not discriminate. Many people are aware that Btk kills more than just gypsy moths, it kills the caterpillars of all moth and butterflies species. The MDA will say that native species are quick to rebound after Btk treatment but that is not true, especially for the monarch which is now a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act.  What makes this all the more shocking is that back in 2016 the Mayor of Duluth signed the National Wildlife Federation Mayors' Monarch Pledge  which is a commitment to create habitat for butte

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