Pest Control

Res #: 8-21M
Number: 8
Year: 2021
Midterm: Yes
Expired: No
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

WHEREAS Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has banned the use of 2% strychnine on richardson’s ground squirrels effective March 4, 2023, with the last date of sale by rural municipalities being March 4, 2022: and
WHEREAS the population of richardson’s ground squirrels will rise without an alternative treatment option available to farmers and be detrimental to farmers’ crops and pose as safety hazards to farmers’ livestock; and
WHEREAS no alternative has been brought forward for the eradication of richardson’s ground squirrels that are more environmentally friendly and cost effective.
BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby for the extension of sale of strychnine until such time that a more environmentally friendly and cost-effective solution is found for the eradication of richardson’s ground squirrels.

Responses From: Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture

February 22, 2022

With regards to resolution 8-21M, lobbying the Federal government to extend the deadline for strychnine use. The ministry has been in close communication with Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) and our regional neighbors since the PMRA’s initial ruling.

  • The ministry requested that the PMRA extend the schedule for the phase out of strychnine to allow the pest control products industry to research and develop a suitable alternative. That request was denied.
  • The ministry then requested that the PMRA extend the schedule for the phase out of strychnine as producers were not able to access the product due to a shortage of technical product to manufacture the 2% liquid concentrate. That request was also denied.
  • The ministry also conducted research to investigate the PMRA’s concerns regarding the use of the product. The ministry provided the data to the PMRA along with a notice of objection. The government of Alberta also filed a notice of objection. PMRA undertook another panel review to assess this data; however this panel has come to the same conclusion as the first panel and their decision to deregister strychnine stands.

As such, the ministry believes that it has exhausted all avenues to keep strychnine registered. We are now going to focus our efforts on finding viable alternatives to strychnine to control Richardson’s ground squirrel.

Hon. David Marit – Minister of Agriculture

Responses From: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

December 8, 2021

The Government of Saskatchewan is aware that currently-registered alternatives to strychnine for control of ground squirrel populations are less effective, more labour­ intensive and more expensive than strychnine. In February 2021, the Government of Saskatchewan requested an extension from the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) on the proposed restriction on the sale and use of strychnine in Canada. The Ministries of Environment and Agriculture have requested that the implementation of the manufacture and sales deadlines be delayed by one year and that the permitted use be extended by eighteen months, until September 2024.

The Government of Saskatchewan submitted a Notice of Objection to the final decision by PMRA regarding strychnine for ground squirrel control in April 2020. PMRA has indicated that a secondary review of the decision, with personnel not associated with the original decision, is ongoing. However, PMRA will not agree to suspend the re-evaluation registration decision while the Notice of Objection review proceeds. The current status remains: cancellation of manufacture March 2021, sale until March 2022, and final use of the product March 2023.

Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Agriculture, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, will begin a research project by mid 2022, where registered and unregistered products will be evaluated as strychnine replacements. This work was originally scheduled for 2021, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hon. Warren Kaeding – Minister of Environment