Animals at Risk as Manitoba Considers Rolling Back Cosmetic Pesticide Restrictions

November 4, 2022 – Update: Manitoba has now passed Bill 22, making it the only Canadian province to roll back its restrictions on non-essential pesticide use.

Proposed changes to Manitoba’s Environment Act are set to loosen restrictions on non-essential, or “cosmetic”, use of toxic pesticides. This dangerous change would put wild and domesticated animals at risk of illness, and even death, by eliminating many of Manitoba’s restrictions on the toxic chemicals.

Animal Justice, the Winnipeg Humane Society, and a coalition of local and national animal protection and rescue groups, sanctuaries, and rehabilitation organizations have written a joint letter to the province’s Minister of Environment, Climate and Parks and Minister of Health, describing Bill 22 as dangerous and regressive, and to sound the alarm over risks of illness and death to animals throughout Manitoba.

Dandelions Aren’t Dangerous, Toxic Pesticides Are

Animals, like children, are particularly susceptible to adverse health effects caused by the non-essential use of pesticides on grass and other plants due to their small size and their tendency to be close to the ground. Domesticated animals, including rabbits and companion cats and dogs, often chew or eat grass and other plants, and may also roll or lie on such vegetation, leading them to ingest pesticides when they lick their fur during grooming. Wild animals are especially susceptible to pesticides used in both urban and rural areas, since they rely on the natural environment for food, water, and shelter.

The cosmetic use of pesticides also contributes to a range of harmful environmental effects, such as biodiversity loss and dramatic declines in insect populations.

Image shows dead bees

In the letter, Animal Justice, the Winnipeg Humane Society, the Little Red Barn Micro Sanctuary, World Animal Protection, Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre, Free From Farm Sanctuary, Save A Dog Network Canada, Humane Society International/Canada, the Fur-Bearers, D’Arcy’s Animal Rescue Centre, and Manitoba Animal Save are requesting that the current restrictions on non-essential uses of pesticides be maintained. Rather than allowing for the use of more toxic pesticides, Manitoba should consider ways to strengthen its existing pesticide restrictions in order to protect our environment, as well as the well-being of both humans and animals.

Add Your Support

While citizens and other governments across Canada and around the world are working to reduce the use of harmful pesticides, Manitoba is proposing to allow more pesticides to be used for cosmetic purposes, despite growing scientific evidence that many of these pesticides pose significant risks to wild and companion animals, as well as to human health and the environment

This campaign is now closed.