Farmers and ranchers are being encouraged to get involved in the PMRA’s comment period regarding a proposed ban on Strychnine.

Strychnine is a registered pesticide used by farmers to control Richardson Ground Squirrels.

Health Canada is considering banning the product because of its impact on non-target animals such as the Swift Fox and Burrowing Owl.

David Anderson is the Federal Conservative MP for Cypress Hills-Grasslands (Saskatchewan) and is encouraging farmers and ranchers to make their views known. His riding was one of the hardest hit areas during the last major gopher infestation in 2007-2008; when large acres of hay, crop and pasture land were destroyed by the rodents.

Anderson says now all of a sudden at harvest time when farmers are busy, Health Canada and the Federal Government call for a public consultation that ends Thursday, September 27.

He says once again, it looks like they are trying to exclude the agriculture community from the debate.

“That’s the only thing we had six, seven years ago when we were fighting this gopher plague that we had and now they just come and say we think we should take that off the market. To make your (farmers) arguments, there’s no scientific basis for what they’re doing.  There wasn’t before when they tried to remove it and that’s just what we’re dealing with time and time again with this government.”

Anderson notes the federal government wants to take away the one thing that was working for producers, as Strychnine is an effective tool with no practical alternative.

He says the move is coming at a time when we are starting to see an increase in gophers again.

“Especially with the drought or whatever, they’re doing pretty well and farmers and ranchers are starting to get pretty concerned.  This is at a time when the government comes and says okay we’re going to take away the only thing that really worked effectively for you. I don’t think it’s an accident.  I think they probably understood there’s going to be another round of these little critters tearing up our fields or whatever, and they want to get that product off the market before people are demanding it.”

You can provide your feedback regarding the ban by visit Health Canada's website.


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