WHEREAS the Alberta Rat Control Program has been in existence since the early 1950’s; and
WHEREAS it is estimated that rats cause about $200 billion in damages worldwide; and
WHEREAS rats are among natures most prolific breeders; and
WHEREAS rats potentially pose a health hazard to humans; and
WHEREAS Early Detection, Rapid Response (EDRR) is clearly the method needed to maintain Alberta’s rat free status;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Province of Alberta to continue adequate funding to ensure the effectiveness of the Provincial Rat Control Program.
The provincial rat control program has been in existence for approximately 50 years. This program has, no doubt, saved Albertans millions of dollars over this time frame. Alberta’s rat free status is maintained by the “Rat Patrol” that operates along Alberta’s eastern border. The rat patrol maintains a rat free buffer that extends into Saskatchewan.
The recent infestation in Southern Alberta has proven that no matter how vigilant we are, rats were able to not only survive but multiply unnoticed in an area frequented by people. This infestation is being handled quickly and professionally by Alberta rat patrol as well as other municipal pest control officers. The fact that this infestation occurred is reason enough to reiterate to the province that funding to support the rat program needs at minimum to be maintained, and in all reality should likely be increased. The last thing anyone wants to see is the province lose its “Rat Free” status.
The AAMDC has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.
The Government of Alberta has no plans to reduce or withdraw any funding currently being provided to municipalities that participate in the Rat Control Program. Currently, Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) provides funding of $286,000 to rural municipalities to deliver the Rat and Rabies Control Programs. ARD also purchases the bait for this program at a cost of $60,000 annually.
ARD works closely with municipalities to address infestations quickly and aggressively, allocating the necessary resources to get the job done. Because of ARD’s successful approach, our proactive activities, and the constant vigilance of all Albertans, Alberta is able to maintain its rat-free status.
In the 2014-15 budget, the Government of Alberta maintained funding for the Provincial Rat Control Program at existing levels. The AAMDC met with the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in March 2013 and discussed the need for urban centres to be educated and prepared to handle an infestation in the future to strengthen the effectiveness of the program. In response, the Minister discussed a protocol developed by the City of Medicine Hat which will help address the need for urban awareness of handling infestations and identifying threats. The AAMDC has assigned this resolution a status of Accepted as the intent of this resolution has been met.