Health Canada cancelling registration of strychnine

Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency has announced it is cancelling the registration of strychnine for the control of Richardson’s ground squirrels, commonly referred to as gophers.

The PMRA says “an evaluation of available scientific information has not shown that risks to the environment are acceptable when strychnine is used according to the current conditions of registration, or when additional mitigation is considered.”

The cancellation of strychnine for ground squirrels was proposed in 2018, and underwent a 90-day consultation period. The re-evaluation decision was published on Wednesday, March 4.

According to the PMRA’s database, there are two products containing strychnine that are currently registered for controlling Richardson’s ground squirrels in the Prairie Provinces. They will be subject to a three-year phase out process: the registrant will have one year to stop selling it, while retailers will have another year to clear out inventory, and that will be followed by one year of permitted use from the last date of sale by retailers.

In Manitoba, the provincial government already no longer permitted the use of strychnine. Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers had asked for an extension on the consultation and were opposed to a phase-out.

There’s a 60-day period for filing objections to the decision.

Read the PMRA’s decision here.

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