A Rare Opportunity to Prevent Harm to Animals 

Article by Annette Bays, images Animal Alliance, Jen Howard

As you probably know, here at Procyon, we are in the business of saving the lives of animals that come to us injured and orphaned. Well, right now we have a rare opportunity to preemptively save the lives of hundreds (possibly thousands) of wild animals in the future. If enough of us write a letter to our MP and the Minister of Health now we can save innocent animals from a slow and agonizing death by poison. 

Within a month or so the Pest Management Regulatory Agency of Canada (PMRA) will be concluding their re-evaluation regarding the possible approval of the continued use of two poisons – Strychnine and Compound 1080 – to “manage” wildlife. Their decision now could stand for another 15 years.

These cruel poisons are still used in remote and agricultural regions of Alberta. The other Canadian provinces have long realized these toxic methods are ineffectual as well as inhumane, and in many cases, have implemented safe, humane, effective, cost efficient and non-lethal conflict prevention and intervention programs, which are readily available. Let’s tell Alberta it’s high time they stopped the use of these atrocious methods too.

Apparently there have been numerous offences identified as non-compliant with the Pest Control Products over the last 10 years or more. An extensive “Access to Information and Privacy” request regarding any enforcement measures taken regarding these violations remains unanswered since 2021.

These poisons are used to target wild animals (coyotes, wolves, and black bears) who may come into conflict with farm animals and/or the caribou population. Killing these animals doesn’t solve the problem, but it does mean a slow agonizing death to numerous wild animals, including many non-target animals such as fox, ravens, eagles and many others. And, as has been mentioned in previous articles, poison moves up the food chain. When the targeted animal is consumed or fed to babies in the nest or den, they too suffer horribly and die.

The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is under the purview of Health Canada and reports to Parliament through Health Canada. Through the Mandate Letter, the Prime Minister expects Minister Mark Holland “to ensure Canadians are protected from risks associated with the use of pesticides and to better protect human health, wildlife and the environment…”.

Your MP needs to hear from you. If written by hand, a letter to your Federal representatives has a great impact (but an email will do too!). Tell them how you feel about the continued use of these poisons. Ask the Minister to step in, and ask your MP to encourage him to do so! Otherwise the PMRA will only have the advice of the pesticide producers who are supplying the poisons. 

If you follow this link to the Animal Protection Party of Canada website the details will be explained further. And if you need help with letter writing, here is a form letter you can use or follow. You can find your Member of Parliament and his/her contact information here, and the Health Minister info here. And your letter is postage free.

Thank you for standing up for animals in so many ways.

A Rare Opportunity to Prevent Harm to Animals 
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