Richmond bans rodenticides on City-owned property
27 January 2021
The City of Richmond has banned the use of rodenticides – better known as rat poison – on all City-owned properties.
The ban, passed unanimously by City Council at its January 25 meeting, will see a one-year pilot project evaluate the impact of the ban on the rodent population as well as other wildlife, some of which are negatively affected by the use of poison.
The most common form of rodenticide is anticoagulants which are typically administered as poison through bait stations. Anticoagulants cause internal bleeding when ingested. Because it does not kill the rodent immediately, the dying animal can be easily taken as prey by owls and other raptors which then ingest the poison during consumption. A BC and Yukon study found 70 per cent of owls tested had some form of anticoagulant in their system. A dead Barred Owl recently found in a Richmond park is being assessed to determine if anticoagulants were a contributing factor in its death.
Council’s ban only covers City-owned facilities as private properties are not within the City’s jurisdiction. However, private land owners and businesses are encouraged to make the same commitments for managing rodents on their lands.
The pilot project, which will cost $67,000, will see rodenticides replaced by non-pesticide practices such as traditional snap traps. City staff will implement a field monitoring program to assess the outcome of the transition from anticoagulants and report back to Council within one year.
Correspondence will also be sent to the provincial Ministry of Environment and local MLAs outlining the City’s concerns about rodenticides and asking for a review of existing policies that allow for the sale and use of such poisons.