Rodenticides in BC: New Development

Image by HMaria from Pixabay

Background Information

Effective July 21, 2021, the province of BC issued an 18-month moratorium on the widespread sale and use of second-generation anticoagulent rodenticides (SGARS).

These include poisons such as Brodifacoum, Bromadiolone and Difethialone.

SGARS are cruel poisons that affect more than the rodents they target. They also kill wildlife such as owls that eat the rodents. Sadly, it’s not a quick death. It is a slow and painful death that can take up to 10 days.

The government’s intent is to help protect wildlife from secondary poisoning. It says it will use the time to do a scientific review and step up the promotion of alternatives.

We want you to know there is a hotline you can go to report environmental poisonings if you suspect these poisons are being used where it is now illegal. It is 1-877-952-7277 (RAAP), a line designated for reporting known or suspected violations of fisheries, wildlife or environmental protection laws. It allows you to do so anonymously. We ask that you call it.

If you are using the rodenticides because you were previously unaware of the ban, we ask that you discontinue their use.

There are exceptions to the ban. Exemptions apply to services that include: health services, public safety, critical infrastructure, food and agriculture, transportation, sanitation, communications and information technology and coroners and mortuary related services.


New Development

“The story broke last night on Island News. Absolutely heartbreaking. The Environment Minister is using SGAR’s around his own offices while he himself placed a Temporary Ban on all SGAR’s!?! How many more owls will die in this horrific way? Does this Minister even care about our wildlife? Please continue to support a Permanent Ban on all SGAR’S in our Province. My petition is nearing 25,000 signatures. I won’t stop until this Ban becomes permanent. Thanks to Deanna for all the work she is doing on the Island to keep awareness alive and in the public eye.” – Yasmin Abidi, Nov. 25, 2021


Vancouver Island

Victoria – Rodenticide use has long been controversial in B.C. While rodenticides are effective at killing rodents, they also kill some of the predators that eat those poisoned rodents.

Deanna Pfeifer is a member of the group Rodenticide Free B.C. On Nov. 16, she was called to the Ministry of Environment building on Jutland Road in Victoria because a woman had found a dead, great horned owl under a tree there.

“I asked her if she noticed any black bait boxes of poison around where the owl was found and she said yes,” said Pfeifer.

That day, after retrieving the dead owl, she took a video of herself walking around the building. In it, she finds two black boxes used for rodent control.

In the video, she points out a label on the box and reads it out loud. “Active ingredient Bromadiolone,” Pfeifer says in the video. “That’s a second-generation anticoagulant rodenticide that is banned for use around buildings like this, the minister’s own doorstep.”

In July, the provincial government banned the use of rodenticide for 18 months as it conducts a scientific review of its uses.

In the meantime, rodenticides or second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) can still be used by licensed pest control companies around restaurants and buildings that are deemed an essential service.

“We still have owls dying,” said Pfeifer.

After this latest death, Rodenticide Free B.C. Is now calling on Minister of Environment George Hayman to ban the use of the poison all together.


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