A rare short-eared owl was found dead in a Saanich backyard on Vancouver Island in October, 2020 and was to be sent for testing to find out if it had ingested rat poison. (Kimberly Adamec photo)

A rare short-eared owl was found dead in a Saanich backyard on Vancouver Island in October, 2020 and was to be sent for testing to find out if it had ingested rat poison. (Kimberly Adamec photo)

City of Salmon Arm receives compliments on its stance on rat poison

City told it’s first one outside Greater Vancouver, Victoria to ban rodenticides on city property

The City of Salmon Arm has received kudos from the BC SPCA for its stance on poisoning rats.

The SPCA issued a news release on March 18 commending council on its ban on the use of all anticoagulant rodenticides on city properties as well as incorporating humane pest control practices on all public properties.

“The motion passed unanimously March 8th, making Salmon Arm the first municipality to ban rodenticides on public property outside the Lower Mainland and Greater Victoria,” the release stated.

Salmon Arm city staff contacted the BC SPCA for resources to explore alternative methods available for humane wildlife control, noted the release.

Read more: Potential effects on raptors prompts Salmon Arm rodenticide ban on city property

Read more: Salmon Arm resident demands action to eradicate rats

Read more: Rats rear their pointy heads in Salmon Arm

The BC SPCA has been working over the past year with staff in several municipalities to implement new rodenticide bans, as traditional baiting programs have not solved local rodent issues. Rodenticides in the environment can cause harm to local birds, wildlife and pets, and can be improperly disposed of, creating other environmental and public health concerns.

“We applaud the City of Salmon Arm for making progressive and humane pest control a priority for local wildlife and community members,” said Dr. Sara Dubois, BC SPCA’s chief scientific officer. “Rodent control is unfortunately a necessary practice to keep communities safe and healthy, but there are effective and more humane ways of dealing with the root problems of attractants and waste management.”

To date, about a dozen other municipalities in Greater Victoria and the Lower Mainland have committed to prohibiting the use of anticoagulant rodenticides on all municipal-owned properties within their jurisdictions.

The SPCA provided the list as well as tips in other municipalities for writing to mayor and council to advocate for ending the use of rodenticides.


martha.wickett@saobserver.net
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