Deanne Pfeifer, a member of the Owl Watch BC and a director of Friends of Kings Community Nature Space in Saanich, welcomes North Saanich’s plan to ban the use of anticoagulant rodenticides. (Rob Vanzella photo)

Environmental advocate applauds North Saanich plan to ban rat poison

Advocate says decision to stop anticoagulant rodenticide use sends important signal

An environmental advocate cheers North Saanich’s decision to ban the use of anticoagulant rodenticides.

Deanna Pfeifer, a member of Owl Watch BC and a director of Friends of Kings Community Nature Space in Saanich, said the decision helps the local environment, especially birds of prey like hawks and owls.

“We have got a problem with wildlife dying at an enormous rate through the anticoagulant rodenticides,” she said.

The issue has been gaining attention after Saanich residents living near Kings Park found two owls that died due to rodenticide poisoning.

“The second owl had three different types of rodenticides in it. It was very disturbing,” she said.

RELATED: Necropsy results show Kings Park owl likely died from rat poison

Saanich banned municipal use of rodenticide in July.

The provincial ministry of agriculture found in March 2018 that the number of owls dying from poisoning more than doubled in a six-month period. Pfeifer expanded on these points during her presentation before North Saanich council. “I am deeply concerned about the health and well-being of our communities and our ecosystem,” she said. “Owl deaths and secondary poisonings are increasing at an alarming rate.”

North Saanich currently does not use anticoagulant rodenticides, so Monday’s decision formalizes an existing practice on municipal properties.

Municipalities do not have the power to ban the use of anticoagulant rodenticides beyond their own properties, but Pfeifer still thinks North Saanich’s decision sets an example. It signals that the municipality is following the lead of other municipalities and are part of a growing group of communities supporting a province-wide ban.

RELATED: Saanich bans municipal rodenticide use after owl deaths

North Saanich’s decision also alerts the public to safer alternatives, while generating awareness about the issue, she added. For example, the other day Pfeifer received an email from a Central Saanich resident, who encountered a writhing and squirming rat while on a walk. “Their dog picked up and they did not even clue that the rat was poisoned,” she said. “That is how they behave when they are poisoned.”

In this sense, anticoagulant rodenticides also threaten family pets and their owners may not even be aware. “Often they are violent sick, you spend thousands of dollars and when they die, do you really want to spend $2,000 more for a necropsy to confirm that is poison?”

Pfeifer said the use of anticoagulant rodenticides appears widespread, pointing to the Kings Park area as an example. “Around the perimeter of that green space there were over 100 bait boxes. It’s everywhere you look. It’s ridiculous.”

Pfeifer promotes safe alternatives such as traps that do not rely on poison as well as other preventive measures, including landscaping techniques. Banning the use of anticoagulant rodenticides would also benefit one of the most effective anti-rodent agents — birds of prey like owls and hawks.

The death of two owls in Kings Park has given 2,000 rats a reprieve, she said.

“We used to families of hawks in here and one owl eats a thousand rats a year.”


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria gets new collegiate baseball team, training facility

Golden Tide coach wants to see as many local kids play for the HarbourCats as possible

‘It’s a boy’: Southern Resident killer whale calf born to J Pod is healthy, researchers say

J35 had previously done a ‘Tour of Grief,’ carrying her dead calf for 17 days

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Greater Victoria

Thunderstorm may produce strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain, warns Environment Canada

Sooke couple that owned Sooke Harbour House given $4 million after lengthy court case

B.C. Supreme Court rules in favour of Frederique and Sinclair Philip

Local MP Elizabeth May likes aspects of throne speech, but questions execution

According to May nobody is as ‘reckless’ as BC’s John Horgan in dismissing snap election

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Cops for Cancer: COVID-19 can’t stop Tour de Rock

‘having the chance to come back and ride this year means everything to me’

People ‘disgusted’ by COVID-19 election call, B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson speaks to municipal leaders from Victoria

Most Read