Province seeking public input on provincial rodenticide bans

Province seeking public input on provincial rodenticide bans
A Barred Owl sitting in a tree in Saxe Point Park March 15, 2021.

The B.C. government is seeking public input into potential bans on the use of some rodenticide products in the province.

In a release, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy said the goal of the restrictions is to better protect owls and other wildlife.

The changes would include a ban on the widespread sale and use of second-generation rodenticides (SGARs).

According to Health Canada, first-generation rodenticides need to be consumed for multiple days to be effective — while second-generation products are usually more “acutely toxic.”

“[They] are retained much longer in body tissues of primary consumers mammals,” Health Canada says on its website. “They generally provide a lethal dose after one single feeding, although death is usually delayed 5 to 10 days and animals continue feeding.”

The B.C. government says SGARs also pose a significant risk to other wildlife that eat poisoned rodents.

The province implemented an 18-month ban on the sale of SGARs in July 2021 while a review of the product could be conducted.

The changes would require individuals and businesses to use other methods of pest control like traps or less toxic rodenticide alternatives.

The SGARs would be restricted to be used in essential services like hospitals, food production and supply, transportation, or conservation projects. Select industrial operators would also be permitted to use them.

In order to use the SGARs, the following requirements would be imposed:

  • requiring a licence and certificate by everyone using SGARs (including agricultural operators);
  • enhancing integrated pest-management requirements (including development of a site-specific plan
  • prohibiting long-term baiting with SGARs; and
  • prohibiting SGAR use in critical wildlife habitats.

The survey asks respondents questions including what they think about restricting second-generation products to essential services like agricultural operations.

It also asks for feedback on any potential populations that could be disproportionately impacted by limiting use of SGARs, as well as whether there may be other critical wildlife areas that should be protection.

The province is accepting feedback until June 19, then if accepted the changes are proposed to be implemented as of Jan. 20, 2023.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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