+ RMA Rural Municipalities
of Alberta

Resolution 4-01F

Richardson Ground Squirrel Control

January 1, 2001
Expiry Date:
December 1, 2004
Active Status:
Vote Results:
Carried as amended

WHEREAS the Federal Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) registered a 2% strychnine product on an emergency basis for Year 2001 only;AND WHEREAS there was an overwhelming response by the agriculture community to the availability of this product for the control of the Richardson Ground Squirrel, and performance of the product has been reported as very good to excellent;AND WHEREAS the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development has stated that a comprehensive provincial report will be prepared this fall on the performance of this years emergency label, and that her department will continue to work closely with the federal government, industry and farmers to bring about the successful control of ground squirrels;AND WHEREAS it will take a number of years to get the Richardson Ground Squirrel populations back under control;AND WHEREAS producers will require access to an effective control measure to ensure that the Richardson Ground Squirrel populations do not reach these epidemic proportions again in the future;

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC urge the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada to support the continued use of the 2% strychnine product for the control of the Richardson Ground Squirrel and request that:a) the program and handling procedures be approved by March 1, 2002; andb) rural municipalities be allowed to distribute the 2% strychnine product.

Member Background:

In 2001, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) issued an emergency label authorizing 2% liquid strychnine to be used for Richardson Ground Squirrel control in certain areas of Alberta.Approximately 26 Alberta rural municipalities were declared eligible areas for the use of 2% liquid strychnine under the emergency label conditions. The distribution conditions were under the direction and supervision of the local municipality, through the agricultural fieldman. Participating rural municipalities experienced an overwhelming response to the availability of the 2% strychnine product. Producers who used the freshly mixed 2% liquid strychnine bait were very pleased with its effectiveness and degree of control, and stated that this fresh mixed bait was a much more effective control measure than the RTU (ready to use) baits that have been available over the past few years. The population of Richardson Ground Squirrels took many years to reach epidemic proportions, and it will take a number of years using effective control measures to reduce and maintain populations at reasonable levels. Approval of 2% liquid strychnine usage under a normal label is necessary to allow producers to effectively control the gopher problem themselves. It is important that such a program is announced earlier in the year with more flexibility in product distribution and use. The Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development has responded positively to the 2% strychnine program and has expressed optimism about the future of Richardson Ground Squirrel control in Alberta. This resolution will lend support to the ministers discussions with the federal government.

RMA Background:

AAMDC delegates have endorsed a number of resolutions dealing with gopher control over the past several years, dating back to 1994 when Resolution 4-94F was endorsed calling for the approval of a 4% strychnine concentration.Resolutions currently in effect on this issue include:- Resolution 3-00F, which calls for an increase in the allowable concentration of strychnine in ready-to-use baits.- Resolution 5-99F, which calls for reinstatement of 2% strychnine concentrations, or the establishment of a program to compensate landowners for losses caused by Richardson ground squirrels.

Provincial Ministries:
Agriculture and Rural Development
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