The province of British Columbia will make its temporary ban on many rodenticides permanent! The new regulation will prohibit the sale and use of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) in BC for all members of the public, and most commercial and industrial operations.
The decision comes after the government listened to experts and reviewed almost 1,600 consultation responses, including many from Animal Justice supporters and Animal Justice Academy members.
Rodenticides, such as SGARs, are the most common poison used to kill rats and mice. They work by causing severe internal bleeding, which is slow and painful. These poisons are typically placed as bait in an enclosed area that’s easy for rodents to get into. But rodents aren’t the only victims—other animals, including cats, dogs, and wildlife such as owls, can also be poisoned if they can access and ingest the bait themselves, or consume rodents killed by poison.
Animal advocates were concerned that while BC was considering minimizing unnecessary use and reducing accidental exposure in order to reduce risks that SGARs pose to wildlife, the province wasn’t addressing the impact on rodents themselves. Rats and mice are smart, sensitive creatures who are highly altruistic towards others of their species, and do not deserve the pain and horrifying deaths they endure when poisoned with SGARs. There are still some exempted industries in BC where these poisons can be used, such as hospitals and food production, but making the temporary ban permanent and including most commercial and industrial operations is a positive step for animals. We hope other provinces follow BC’s example.
Residents and businesses can focus on humane methods of pest control, such as catch-and-release traps, removing food sources, and sealing entryways to homes and garages.