BAN DANGEROUS POISONS
It's time to ban the use of poisons in Canada.
In Canada, sodium cyanide was recently discontinued as a poison to kill wildlife, but long-outdated policies continue to allow the use of two reckless and violent poisons to kill wolves, coyotes, bears and other species.
They are strychnine and Compound 1080, and they are inhumane, with symptoms being extremely painful and prolonged before death. Indiscriminate killers, they have claimed the lives of people and pets in addition to wildlife.
Strychnine recently underwent re-evaluation as an allowable pesticide in Canada through the federal Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), which is a sector of Health Canada. Consultation on a proposed decision was scheduled for early 2018, but PMRA indicated they didn't plan to evaluate all of the uses of strychnine during the evaluation, ignoring strychnine used to poison wolves, among others.
In addition, several of Alberta’s provincial use permits for strychnine expired December 31, 2017 only to be renewed renewed for another 5 years, where strychnine is registered for use as a “wolf, coyote & black bear predacide”, skunk poison, and is available to farmers in 2% liquid form as a rodenticide.
“According to the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC 2003), a killing method is humane if it causes rapid (immediate) unconsciousness and subsequent death without pain or distress. Death by strychnine ingestion is inhumane, as it causes frequent periods of tetanic seizures, occasional cessation of breathing, hyperthermia, extreme suffering, and death from exhaustion or asphyxiation, which typically occurs within 1–2 hours of the onset of clinical signs (Khan 2010). However, death can take up to 24 hours or longer if the dose is low (Eason & Wickstrom 2001).
The use of strychnine to kill wolves is in contravention of CCAC guidelines (CCAC 2003), the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA 2013), the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (2014), and the American Society of Mammalogists (Sikes et al. 2011)”.
We worked with Animal Justice, Animal Alliance and other ally organizations to formally request that PMRA conduct a complete evaluation that includes recent condemnation from the scientific community and the Alberta government’s data which outlines the staggering number of non-target deaths recorded in a single area. Indeed, more non-target wildlife died than the number of caribou in the herd the government is supposedly trying to protect by poisoning wolves.
Public input is necessary to show that Canadians won’t stand for toxins that torture wildlife, decrease biodiversity, and pose a serious threat to the safety of people and pets.
The federal government declined our request, but chose to accelerate and consolidate the regular processes to re-evaluate these poisons every 15 years. That means that strychnine and Compound 1080 are currently being reviewed. Health Canada expects to publish their proposed decision to maintain or discontinue their registration in March 2022. Please join our e-mail list so that you can take part in that public consultation period.
As long as these products remain available in Canada these poisons will continue to kill wild and domestic animals across the country, such as these recent strychnine deaths in British Columbia, where strychnine has been banned at the provincial level for years.