Animal Alliance of Canada is joining the call to ban rodenticide use in B.C. to protect wildlife, domestic animals, and the rodents that suffer terrible deaths from the poisons used to control them. After some recent local successes, we are now pushing for a B.C. wide ban on rodenticide.
Some of the organizations we are teaming up with are Defend Them All, Owl Watch B.C., Social Environment Alliance, and Friends of Kings Community Nature Space. Defend Them All has developed an excellent fact sheet on rodenticides you can view here.
Animals are generally excluded from our political discourse and suffer greatly for this absence of representation. Recently, however, the municipality of Saanich on Vancouver Island in B.C. voted to ban the use of rodenticide. Animal Alliance’s Jordan Reichert addressed council and sent a letter in support of this ban. This follows from other B.C. municipalities doing the same in North Vancouver, and currently considering it Richmond.
Rats are highly intelligent sentient animals that form strong social bonds and express a diversity of emotions including happiness, depression, playfulness, curiosity, fear, and shyness. Mice are also very expressive, show empathy to other mice, and communicate through vocal and facial expressions.
Anti-coagulant rodenticide poisons not only kill their primary targets of rats and mice, but can also affect non-target species including owls, cats, humans, and other species.
However, it is important to remember that while the problem is most often framed as one of rodents and public health, the source of conflict with rodents in our communities is human behaviour. It is essential that we take responsibility as individuals and through government to educate the public on best practices and methods to mitigate conflict with urban and non-urban wildlife. As with most social problems, the use of violence or lethal measures rarely has a lasting positive affect on the issue at hand.
Some examples of key areas of community-led behaviour modification to discourage the presence of rodents are: ensuring proper waste management and practicing increased cleanliness in food-areas, sealing and closing of entrance points for rodents into houses and garages, use repellents, and discourage the keeping of backyard chickens or feeding of wildlife.
We strongly encourage municipalities to go beyond simple bans on rodenticide and ensure that funding for education and engagement exists in the area of wildlife co-habitation to create a more informed and compassionate understanding of our fellow animals who co-exist in our communities.
What can you do to help?
You can support our work on this issue by donating to help us pressure the government to take action for animals across the province.
You can email your Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) and tell them you support a ban on rodenticide poisions to protect animals in B.C. and you want them to as well. You can find your local MLA here.
If you live in a community where rodenticide has not been banned and would like, you can talk to your city councillors about the issue and ask them to support it. Need help? Contact us and we can do it together.