WHEREAS the federal government has eliminated the availability of liquid strychnine for the control of Richardson’s ground squirrels (gophers); AND WHEREAS the current products on the market for Richardson ground squirrel control are not addressing the problem for Canadian producers; AND WHEREAS the lack of effective control measures is resulting in drastically increasing populations of Richardson ground squirrels; AND WHEREAS these increased populations are causing large areas of damage and loss and thus having an economic impact on Canadian farmers; AND WHEREAS there are existing programs that address crop damage by waterfowl and wildlife;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC urge the federal government to take immediate action and set up a Richardson ground squirrel damage program and increase the concentration of strychnine in RTU (ready to use) baits, thus allowing Canadian producers to effectively deal with the problem themselves.
Richardson ground squirrels (commonly known as gophers) continue to be a serious problem for landowners, causing damage to annual crops, forages, pastures agricultural equipment and livestock. In 1999 a government response to a similar resolution stated: The future of ground squirrel control lies in improving the effectiveness of ready-to-use baits containing strychnine and in finding other applications. According to many landowners the effectiveness of ready-to-use baits has not improved and no effective or reasonable alternatives have been found. Our landowners have continuing problems and need solutions now. If governments are not willing to register effective season-long control methods for Richardson ground squirrels, then they should address the issue of compensation to landowners for their losses, as is done with other wildlife compensation programs.
Resolution 5-99F, endorsed at the Fall 1999 Convention, calls for the federal government to authorize the use of 2% liquid strychnine for the purposes of gopher control. The AAMDC has met with federal officials to discuss this matter, but to date we have received no commitments to action in this area.