Ban on strych­nine use for ground squir­rels com­ing

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - AGRICULTUR­E - Cour­tesy Cana­dian Cat­tle­men’s As­so­ci­a­tion

As of March 4, 2023, landown­ers will no longer be al­lowed to use strych­nine to con­trol Richard­son’s Ground Squir­rels (RGS) in Canada. This is the fi­nal de­ci­sion passed down March 4 by Health Canada’s Pest Man­age­ment Reg­u­la­tory Agency (PMRA). There will be a three-year phase out pe­riod.

In June 2018, the PMRA posted for com­ment a pro­posed de­ci­sion to end the use of strych­nine, an al­ready highly reg­u­lated pes­ti­cide prod­uct, for the con­trol of ground squir­rels. The pri­mary con­cern of

PMRA is the im­pacts on non-tar­get species inad­ver­tently killed af­ter in­gest­ing poi­soned ground squir­rels. In ren­der­ing the de­ci­sion, the PMRA noted a 2019 Saskatchew­an Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture study where the ap­pli­ca­tion of strych­nine baits, in ac­cor­dance with la­bel in­struc­tions to con­trol RGS pop­u­la­tions, re­sults in the avail­abil­ity of poi­soned RGS car­casses on the sur­face of treated sites.

The Cana­dian Cat­tle­men’s As­so­ci­a­tion (CCA) made two sub­mis­sions with rec­om­men­da­tions to con­tinue the reg­is­tra­tion of strych­nine for use on ground squir­rels point­ing out the neg­a­tive im­pacts of un­con­trolled ground squir­rel pop­u­la­tions on grass­land ecosys­tems, wildlife habi­tat and po­ten­tially on species at risk. CCA also felt the science quoted in the pro­posed de­ci­sion was flawed. Many other agri­cul­tural as­so­ci­a­tions and some prov­inces also called for the reg­is­tered use of strych­nine on ground squir­rels to con­tinue.

Un­der the phase out, the fol­low­ing sched­ule has been posted:

• One (1) year of sale by reg­is­trant (man­u­fac­turer) from the pub­li­ca­tion date of this de­ci­sion doc­u­ment (March 4/20), fol­lowed by;

• One (1) year of sale by re­tailer from the last date of sale by reg­is­trant, fol­lowed by;

• One (1) year of per­mit­ted use from the last date of sale by re­tailer

In short, dur­ing year three, strych­nine will not be sold, but will still be per­mit­ted for use on ground squir­rels up to March 4, 2023.

See https://www.canada.ca/en/ health-canada/ser­vices/con­sumer­prod­uct-safety/re­ports-pub­li­ca­tions/ pes­ti­cides-pest-man­age­ment/de­ci­sion­sup­dates/reeval­u­a­tion-de­ci­sion/2020/ strych­nine.html

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