+ RMA Rural Municipalities
of Alberta

Resolution 5-99F

Control of Richardson Ground Squirrels

January 1, 1999
Expiry Date:
December 1, 2002
Active Status:
Vote Results:

WHEREAS the Federal Government, in 1992, restricted the sale of strychnine liquid, which was being mixed with grain for the control of Richardson Ground Squirrels; AND WHEREAS the premixed Strychnine baits now available for use do not seem to have any effect on controlling the Richardson Ground Squirrels population;AND WHEREAS Southern Alberta is becoming completely overrun with these animals, causing considerable damage to the farmers crops, Ranchers livestock, and machinery, resulting in a financial burden to them;AND WHEREAS there is a demonstrated need for some form of poison that will effectively control the Richardson Ground Squirrels;

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Provincial Government to use all reasonable resources to convince the Federal Government to once again allow the use of 2% strychnine liquid for the control of Richardson Ground Squirrels, or to instigate a policy for compensation to the landowners for their losses.

Member Background:

Richardson ground squirrels (commonly known as gophers) have been a problem to landowners for a number of years. In the early spring they can destroy a large amount of seeded grain, as they are looking for something to eat and the crop is very enticing as it comes up.People here have a real problem in trying to plant any forage crops, as well as native grass, as these are continually being eaten by the gophers. They not only destroy the crops, but dig so many holes that the farmers are breaking machinery and livestock are breaking legs, causing both the farmers and ranchers additional expense which is not needed in this day and age.A number of years ago, the Government allowed the landowner to purchase a 2% strychnine solution which they could mix with grain and place down the gopher holes. This was working to control thse pests at that time.Next, the Government allowed the manufacturers to produce a 5% strychnine solution for pocket gophers, which was very effective in controlling these pests.The Government then restricted the sale of both 2% and 5% strychnine, and allowed the manufacturers to produce a pre-mixed feed for them. This was both very expensive and not effective. As a result these pests are totally out of control.

Provincial Ministries:
Agriculture and Rural Development
Federal Ministries and Bodies:
Agriculture and Agri-Food
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