Gopher Control

Res #: 12-03M
Number: 12
Year: 2003
Midterm: Yes
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No

Resolution No. 12-03M

WHEREAS, the Province’s attempt to implement a gopher control program through the use of strychnine was more successful in 2003 than in 2002, as the supply of strychnine was made more readily available and in a more timely fashion; and

WHEREAS, the Province of Saskatchewan continues to experience excessive destruction of crops and grazing lands due to the large population of gophers;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that SARM lobby the Provincial Government to make application to the Federal Government for the required Emergency Registration Permit to facilitate the use of 2% strychnine in early spring of 2004; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that SARM pursue whatever means necessary to have strychnine restored to its original status to be utilized by agricultural operators at their discretion.

Response From Honourable Clay Serby, Minister of Saskatchewan Agriculture, Food & Rural Revitalization:

Under the Federal Pest Control Products Act, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) of Health Canada is responsible for registering pesticides for use in Canada. Saskatchewan Agriculture, Food and Rural Revitalization (SAFFR) received a third consecutive emergency registration from the PMRA for the strychnine concentrate in response to concerns of many farmers and ranchers.

In granting Saskatchewan the 2003 approval to use the strychnine concentrate, the PMRA advised that no further sale or use of strychnine concentrate will be granted under emergency registration provisions of the Federal Pest Control Products Regulations. This last approval was granted only to accommodate the past shortages and late shipping of strychnine.

The management of the ground squirrel population is a long-term pest problem which can no longer be supported by the PMRA through their emergency registration provisions. To address further concerns on managing ground squirrels, the PMRA has agreed to work with Alberta, Saskatchewan, SARM, and the pest control product industry to provide control options for 2004 and beyond. A meeting was held June 10, 2003, to discuss options with a future meeting with the stakeholders set for December 15, 2003, in Edmonton. It is hopeful that a program will be in place for addressing ground squirrel concerns very early next spring.