Report on Poisons for Fluffy Eradication by BeattieBellman

REPORT ON THE USE OF PESTICIDES FOR THE CONTROL OF INTRODUCED FLUFFY PONY POPULATIONS IN NORTH AMERICA

Prepared by the USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service


Introduction

Equus caballus hasbioidae, more commonly known as the fluffy pony or “fluffy”, is one of the most destructive and prolific pest species in the United States today. The voracious appetite of fluffy ponies, combined with their extreme fecundity, has made them a major agricultural pest. Feral fluffy herds have been known to devastate entire fields of crops in just a single night, leading to billions in losses for farmers annually. They have also be discovered to be a vector for zoonotic diseases (including glanders, equine infectious anemia, and bovine tuberculosis), presenting a serious hazard to both livestock & human health.

To counter the explosive population growth of feral fluffies, the United States Department of Agriculture tasked APHIS with evaluating various chemical pesticides as a means of fluffy eradication. This report summarizes the results of nearly 16 months of research, during the course of which APHIS scientists tested 85 different pesticides and expended more than 15,000 fluffy pony test subjects.


Outline of Procedures

Each of the 85 pesticides was tested on at least 200 fluffy ponies, split into 25 groups of eight. A test group consisted of four adult fluffies (approx. 6-8 months old) and four weaned foals (approx. 3-4 weeks old), with an equal number of males and females. For the experiment, each test group would be placed into a pen with trays of spaghetti-flavored pellets containing a measured amount of pesticide set out for them (a hamster water bottle was also provided for hydration). Researchers would observe the fluffies’ reaction to consuming the pellets, including time to onset of symptoms and median time of death. Dead fluffies were then collected and necropsied to examine how the poison had affected their internal organs.

Of all the anti-fluffy pesticides evaluated by APHIS, four have been determined to be the most useful:

  1. Sodium Fluoroacetate (1080)
  2. Brodifacoum
  3. Strychnine
  4. Zinc Phosphide

A summary of each pesticide is provided below, in addition to a transcript showcasing the effects of the poison on a selected group of fluffies


Sodium Fluoroacetate (1080)

Effects:
When ingested, sodium fluoroacetate is metabolized to form fluorocitrate. As fluorocitrate accumulates in the fluffy’s bloodsteam, it disrupts enzymes critical for the process of glycolysis. Unable to produce ATP, the cells are starved of energy and begin to shut down. This occurs across the fluffy’s entire body, but effects are most prominent in organs with high energy demands, particularly the heart and brain.

Onset of effect occurs about 30 minutes after ingestion. Abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea are usually the first symptoms. This is soon followed by neurological symptoms, including dizziness, confusion, agitation, delirium, and seizures. Eventually hypotension and cardiac arrhythmias develop, leading to the death of the fluffy within 2-3 hours.

Experiment transcript:

At 00:00:00, Test Group 17-Epsilon was introduced to the pen. All eight fluffies readily ate the pesticide pellets (or “sketti tweatsies”, as they called them), and by 00:08:00 they had cleaned out the trays. The group continued to play and interact normally following their meal, unaware of the impending danger.

The first sign of trouble came at 00:33:41, when one of the foals - a purple unicorn filly - began complaining of “tummy owwies” and vomited shortly afterwards. By 00:40:00, all of the foals were retching and crying in pain. One of the mares attempted to comfort the foals, but as the poison began to take effect on her, she ended up vomiting all over a grey colt while she was hugging him.

By 00:50:00, all of the members of Group 17-Epsilon were showing symptoms of poisoning. The floor of the pen had become heavily soiled with vomit and feces as the adult fluffies voided both ends of their GI tract. The foals were crying inconsolably despite receiving “huggies”, and none were able to walk more than a few steps before collapsing from dizziness. Two foals also apparently lost the ability to speak, regressing back to weakly peeping and chirping.

Neurological symptoms steadily progressed in the adult fluffies over the next 30-60 minutes. Researchers found, however, that the course of their descent into delirium could be highly variable. Some became agitated and hyperactive: extreme emotional lability was noted in a yellow mare, who went from euphoric singing and giggling to melancholic weeping to enraged screeching within the space of a few minutes. Others became detached and lethargic: a teal stallion was observed pacing aimlessly around the pen, stumbling frequently as his muscular control deteriorated.

The first death occured at 01:36:27. The purple filly, who was now unable to stand or even sit up, suddenly went into convulsions. Lying face down on the dirty floor, it aspirated its own vomit and asphyxiated. The other foals nearby appeared to be highly distressed by the filly’s death, but none of the adult fluffies were cognizant enough to help them. The three remaining foals succumbed soon afterwards, their weakened hearts apparently giving out.

Test subject activity had diminished greatly by 02:30:00, as the remaining fluffies became catatonic or comatose. Death soon followed, with the last fluffy going into cardiac arrest at 3:12:11. The remains of Group 17-Epsilon were collected, dissected, and then incinerated.


Brodifacoum

Effects:
Brodifacoum is a “superwarfarin” anticoagulant that works by preventing active Vitamin K from entering the bloodstream. Without Vitamin K, the fluffy’s blood cannot synthesize coagulation factors or thrombin, leaving it unable to clot. Additionally, brodifacoum increases the permeability of blood vessels, greatly accelerating the rate of bleeding.

Onset of effect is delayed, with symptoms generally appearing 2 days after ingestion. The earliest signs of poisoning include loss of appetite, nosebleeds, bleeding gums, and frequent bruising. As internal hemorrhaging worsens, blood will be visible in the fluffy’s urine, feces, sputum, and milk. Tachycardia and respiratory distress develop as blood pressure continues to fall, with death from hypovolemic shock usually occurring by the 5th-7th day.

Experiment Transcript:
At 00:00:00, Test Group 45-Lambda was introduced to the pen, whereupon the fluffies immediately began eating from the trays. Additional feedings were performed at 12:00:00, 24:00:00, and 36:00:00; in each instance the fluffies eagerly wolfed down all the pesticide pellets in minutes. Spirits in the group initially appeared to be running high, with the fluffies thanking the researchers for bringing “sketti tweatsies”, and the foals dancing to express their gratitude.

During the next feeding at 48:00:00, however, some of the foals refused to eat, despite encouragement from the adults that “babbehs nee’ nummies to gwow big an’ stwong”. At 53:21:47, a red pegasi colt was seen bleeding profusely from his snout after bumping it while dancing. In response, one of the mares attempted to hug them, but the foal began crying about “bad upsies” and “huwtie huggies” - it appears that even the light pressure of the mare’s embrace was enough to bruise the colt.

Only a few fluffies ate anything at the 60:00:00 feeding, and by 72:00:00 the trays were being left practically untouched. Blood-tinged urine and black, tar-like stool began appearing on the floor of the pen. Polydipsia was also apparent, as the pen’s water bottle was being drained at five times the normal rate.

By 96:00:00, the foals had started to cough up blood, and several were too weak to stand. Out of desperation, a lilac unicorn mare was observed at 99:35:31 attempting to place a pink earthie filly on its back so that it could carry the thirsty foal to the water bottle. However, the foal was too heavy and slid off the mare’s back, sustaining an open fracture of its left leg as it hit the floor. The shrieking fluffy desperately attempted to hug the wounded foal back to health, but her squeezing only increased the rate of blood loss; the filly died from exsanguination within minutes.

Two more foals died overnight, their mucous membranes dry and the skin under their fluff sheet-white with pallor. The first adult fluffy died at 126:49:08 - a green earthie stallion with a swollen, distended abdomen, who was later found to have suffered a retroperitoneal hemorrhage. Despite considerable efforts by the other fluffies to keep the last foal alive, it eventually died at 148:27:55. This resulted in the lilac mare breaking down and entering the “wan die” loop; she succumbed less than an hour later.

The final two fluffies of Group 45-Lambda would remain alive for just over a day. The last mare died at 170:22:36 from circulatory shock, and the last stallion died at 171:05:09 from hypoxia caused by respiratory failure. The remains of Group 45-Lambda were collected, dissected, and then incinerated.


Strychnine

Effects:
Strychnine is a highly potent neurotoxin produced by certain plants. Its toxicity comes from its ability to antagonize glycine in the central nervous system. Normally, glycine works as a regulatory neurotransmitter that mediates the activity of the motor neurons. Strychnine acts as a competitive antagonist that binds to the glycine receptors and blocks them from being stimulated. Without any regulation, the motor neurons fire uncontrollably, causing the muscles to tense up

The effects of strychnine poisoning are rapid and dramatic, with onset of effect occurring under 10 minutes after ingestion. Symptoms include dilated pupils, tremors, cramping, violent convulsions, and paralysis. Death is caused either by paralysis of the diaphragm resulting in respiratory arrest, or simply from the extreme exhaustion brought on by the seizures. The fluffy’s death may take as little as 30 minutes or as long as 6 hours, depending on the dose.

Experiment transcript:

At 00:00:00, Test Group 33-Rho was introduced to the pen. Most of the fluffies began eagerly eating from the trays, with one exception: a brown earthie colt who spat out his first pellet and refused to eat any more, apparently finding it bitter. This did nothing to faze the other fluffies however, who continued to gorge themselves on the pellets.

By 00:06:50, some of the foals were already complaining of “leggie huwties” and appeared to be having difficulty walking or standing up straight. The adult fluffies attempted to comfort them, but soon found that their own limbs were becoming stiff. At 00:11:47, a green filly collapsed into tonic-clonic seizures, urinating itself in the process. Panic swiftly set in among the fluffies, with parents crying out to their “babbehs” and trying to reach out & hug them with paralyzed hoofs. By 00:20:30 all of the fluffies were seizing, except for the brown colt, who was watching in shock and terror. Tremors and stiffness were noted in the colt, indicating that he too had absorbed some of the poison.

The first bout of convulsions lasted, on average, for 15-20 minutes. By 00:43:20, most of the members of Group 33-Rho had stopped seizing, with some waking up in puddles of “scawwdy pee-pees”. A mare and two foals did not wake up at all however, and instead simply stopped breathing as their entire body was paralyzed. At 00:57:19 the brown colt collapsed into convulsions for the first time, causing the other fluffies to panic again and setting off another wave of seizures.

The third foal and a stallion died from respiratory arrest around the 1-hour mark, while the second mare was killed by exhaustion at 01:06:44. By 1:20:00 all but the brown colt were dead. The colt, who had absorbed a much lower dose that the other members of the group, would spend the next four hours alternating between crying and hobbling around as he tried to wake up the dead fluffies and going back into seizures. Finally, at 05:37:41, the foal died of exhaustion. The remains of Group 33-Rho were collected, dissected, and then incinerated.


Zinc Phosphide

Effects:
Zinc phosphide is an inorganic compound that, when ingested, reacts with the gastric acid in a fluffy’s stomach to form highly toxic phosphine gas. Phosphine interferes with cellular respiration and causes oxidative damage to DNA and proteins, resulting in multiple organ failure. The gas itself is also corrosive and will cause severe damage to the stomach lining.

Onset of effect can be as little as 3 minutes after ingestion. The first symptoms are severe abdominal pain and vomiting(usually with blood). This is soon followed by dizziness, headache, fatigue, confusion, blurred vision, and shortness of breath. Pulmonary edema, arrhythmias, and cardiomyopathy occur within a few hours, usually leading to death from circulatory shock. If the fluffy somehow manages to survive the initial effects, they will likely die of kidney or liver failure after 2-3 days.

Experiment Transcript

At 00:00:00, Test Group 79-Theta was introduced to the pen, and the fluffies soon began eating from the trays. Before they could even finish all the pellets, however, an orange filly began screaming in pain and vomiting blood at 00:04:18. Within five minutes, all of the other fluffies were doing the same, soiling the floor with a mixture of blood & bile.

The orange filly would be the first casualty, dying at 00:17:32. A necropsy concluded that the phosphine concentration inside the foal was high enough to eat a hole through the stomach, causing the filly to rapidly enter shock as its abdominal organs were dissolved.

The remaining fluffies began to stumble around, frequently bumping into the walls or each other due to their impaired vision. At 00:36:41, a green stallion accidentally trod on a black earthie colt, crushing its spine and paralyzing it but not killing it. Around 01:03:45, researchers began to record frequent vocalizations of “Wawa bad fow fwuffies”, “Fwuffy nu wike wawa”, and similar speech, despite the fact they they were on dry land. It is believed that this was caused by the accumulation of fluid in the lungs, creating a sensation that led the fluffy to believe it was drowning.

By 03:00:00 six of the eight fluffies had died of heart failure or shock. A stallion (the same one that had stepped on a foal) later died at 12:49:11, due to a combination of internal bleeding and septicemia caused by a perforated stomach. The last fluffy, a white mare, initially appeared to be recovering as its breathing and heart rate stabilized. Soon however, jaundice, ascites, and other symptoms of acute liver failure became noticeable. Delirious with pain and lapsing in and out of consciousness, the mare finally died at 38:15:07. The remains of Group 79-Theta were collected, dissected, and then incinerated.


Author’s note: I’m new here, didn’t know what to post so I decided to explore the topic of poison. Lemme know what ya think.

26 Likes

I think my only regret is that we can’t do these tests on fluffies in real life.

Exfellent world-building. Are any of these poisons safe for plants, people, and pets?

5 Likes

Slower poisons would seem to be better able to kill an entire herd. A savvy smartie may designate food tasters and watch them for a short while to see how they fare after eating such offerings.

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Not exactly. Most of these poisons aren’t selective - if a human or a dog were to eat enough of this stuff it would kill them too. However, I will note that all of these chemicals are actually used in real life to control various mammalian pest (rats, gophers, rabbits, etc), so it should at least be theoretically possible to use them in a way that would kill fluffies without harming non-target species.

Originally I was gonna have a “considerations for use” subsection that would explain the most effective ways to use each pesticide, but I cut it cos I felt that this was too long. Maybe I’ll add it back in later as an addendum or something

6 Likes

Thank you for that explanation! I love the intersection of fluffies and real-world reality like pest control.

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Probably, yeah. I imagine that fast-acting poison would be used to kill small infestations of fluffies, with slower-acting baits being used to wipe out larger herds.

I believe ant bait works on the same principle - it’s designed to act slowly, so that the worker ants have enough time to bring it back to the nest where it can kill the queen.

2 Likes

Good shit especially from a newbie

2 Likes

Fuckin FANTASTIC. Feels real enough to be an actual experiment report but still has enough description to feel like abuse. I’m looking forward to more of your writing.

3 Likes

Great story for a first post.
Don’t forget your name after the title.
And welcome to FC.

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Excellent work!! Can’t wait to read future entries!

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Of course, Hasbio™ would have the patents for toxins capable of killing their product within painfully exact specifications, but with either exacting prices, bizarre side effects, or being lost through simple backstabbing & incompetence.

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Ah crap, knew I forgot something. I’ll try to remember next time.
Also thank you!

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no problem at all

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Really like this one, I hope you do more similar work regarding medical/poison testing because it’s a very interesting and fun read.

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Since the foals are shown to be considerably more sensitive to the poisions im wondering if Strychnine would be able to kill an adult fluffy if it was able to identify the bitter taste like the brown foal did.

1 Like