Most Canadians cannot believe that the federal government still allows wild animals to be poisoned – to suffer an excruciating death.
Who allows this to happen?
The federal government licenses the poisons. Health Canada’s newly appointed Minister, Ginette Petitpas Taylor, oversees the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, which regulates and approves the use of such poisons as Compound 1080, Strychnine and Sodium Cyanide M-44s.
The provinces apply to use them. It is provincial governments and pest control companies who apply to use these cruel substances. Only Saskatechewan and Alberta still use the poisons to “manage” wildlife.
Currently, Alberta uses Compound 1080, Strychnine and Sodium Cyanide M-44 cartridges. Saskatchewan uses Compound 1080 and Strychnine.
The poisons are meant to kill animals who come into conflict with farmers – coyotes, wolves and bears (who may predate on sheep and calves), or squirrels and gophers (who may dig holes in fields where farm animals are kept, putting farm animals at risk of leg injuries).
Ban these pesticides:
Animal Alliance and the Animal Protection Party of Canada want Health Canada to ban these poisons.
Killing “problem wildlife” does not work. Both Saskatchewan and Alberta have used these poisons for years and continue to do so.
For example, as the May 2017 Scientific American’s article, Why Killing Coyotes Doesn’t Make Livestock Safer, demonstrates:
…there is no clear evidence that lethal control works to reduce human-predator conflict. In fact, it can even make the problem worse. At the same time, research shows that predators play key roles in maintaining healthy ecosystems.
Why would predation increase after predators are killed? When pack animals such as coyotes, dingoes and wolves are killed, the social structure of their packs breaks down. Female coyotes become more likely to breed and their pups are more likely to survive, so their numbers may actually increase. Packs generally protect territories, so breaking up a pack allows new animals to come in, raising the population. In addition, some new arrivals may opportunistically prey on livestock, which can increase predation rates…
[A] 2016 analysis reviewed studies that compared lethal and nonlethal strategies for controlling livestock predation… The review found that nonlethal methods generally reduced livestock predation more effectively, and that predation actually temporarily increased after use of some lethal methods.
Non-lethal preventive approaches are more effective, cost efficient, humane and better for the environment.
According to Predator Control,
Wildlife law enforcement officials have documented Compound 1080 poisoning of wolves on national forests in Central Idaho. In Grand Junction, Colorado, in just one incident, Compound 1080 killed approximately 30 pets and at least 35 birds. Because of the time lapse between ingesting this poison and the onset of sickness, as well as the incidence of secondary poisonings, the actual body count is likely much higher than can be documented.
The findings of Predator Contol are supported in the Wolf Toxicant Use Records (2005 to 2010), acquired by Animal Alliance through Freedom of Information. The records showed that 146 wolves died from the poison. However many non-target species also died – 57 ravens, 34 coyotes, 8 red fox, 12 magpies, 2 dogs and 1 bald eagle. There was also an additional 150 incidents where baits were taken but no carcass was found – classified as “Outcome Unknown”.
The Coyote Project provides information about non-lethal solutions to reduce conflicts between farm animals and wildlife.
The science is clear and irrefutable:
- Killing coyotes to reduce their population numbers has been an unmitigated failure despite centuries of trying.
- Reducing coyote numbers, even temporarily, does not reduce predation on farm animals.
- The best methods to protect farm animals are all non-lethal.
We need to keep the pressure on the Minister of Health and the Premiers of Alberta and Saskatchewan to bring in legislation banning the use of these poisons. So please, mail and call them. Hand-written letters are best but you can also use our form letters below.
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
T/ 613 992-8072
The Honourable Rachel Notley
Premier of Alberta
307 Legislature Building
10800 – 97 Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6
The Honourable Scott Moe
Premier of Saskatchewan
226 Legislative Building
CANADA S4S 0B3