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B.C. temporarily bans the use of deadly rat poison, as wildlife rescue sees more raptors in peril

Last Updated Jul 22, 2021 at 5:17 am PDT

(Courtesy Twitter/OWLRehab)

The sale and use of second-generation rodenticides will be prohibited for the next 18 months

The Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society says they've seen an increase in raptors dying from secondary poisoning

DELTA (NEWS 1130) — B.C. has temporarily banned the sale of some types of deadly rat poison in an effort to protect other animals from dying after eating rodents that have ingested lethal doses.

The sale and use of “second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides” will be prohibited for the next 18 months. These poisons are more deadly than other kinds, a single dose can be fatal, and deaths of other animals from secondary poisoning are more likely.

“We share the concerns of many British Columbians that rodenticide use is harming, and too often killing, birds, pets and other wildlife,” said Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.George Heyman in a statement.

“That is why we are taking action to reduce risks, conduct a review and step up our efforts to reduce unnecessary pesticide use, rather than safer alternatives.”

Rob Hope, general manager of the Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society, says they usually see between 55 and 65 birds at their centre every year that have died from secondary poisoning, a number that lately has been on an upward trend.

“Once these birds ingest it — it’s usually fatal. Unfortunately, there’s nothing to stop the carnage from it.”

He says secondary poisoning is especially dangerous for young raptors, like eagles and owls.

“If they’re bringing the rats home to feed their young, definitely the build-up will kill them before they even get a chance to fly.”

Hope says there are plenty of other ways to deal with rodents in and around your home, rather than using poison.

“You can use just a basic rat trap, if you use it inside or outside it’s always a good idea to put a box over it so a cat or a bird doesn’t get stuck in it.”

He also suggests cleaning up around your home, as rodents tend to like to hide in small, dark spaces.

“Even something as simple as cleaning up around your house and garage, and putting mesh down in places where rodents could get into, that helps as well.”

Exemptions to the ban include agricultural production and food safety. Health services, food processing and storage facilities, restaurants, and grocery stores, are also exempt.