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Some rat poisons are no longer legal to buy or sell

Humane society wants stricter actions while residents look for alternatives

In this multi-story series, the Advance Times shines a light on an issue of growing concern in Langley – its increasingly visible rat population. Please check out this and other related articles in this RATS: Friends or Foe series.


Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy has announced permanent regulatory changes that will ban the widespread sale and use of second-generation anti-coagulant rodenticides (SGARS) as they pose a risk of poisoning animals that eat poisoned rats and other rodents.

The B.C.-wide ban applies to all members of the public, including most commercial and industrial operations.

Only select sectors deemed “essential services,” such as hospitals and food production, will be able to purchase and use SGARs – provided they meet the requirements or hire a licensed pest-control company to do this work.

First-generation rodenticides – which are less lethal – can still be used to control rats and mice. And that leaves the Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) unhappy.

While the group “applauded” the B.C. government’s move, it demanded a “total ban on use of all rodenticides in B.C,” said Chantelle Archambault of VHS.

“The VHS noted that the proposed regulations would still allow other types of rodent poisons and would permit the use of SGARs in many exempt locations, including those with frequent wildlife activity, like garbage dumps.”

In Langley, some residents like Franc Vrstovsek are “frustrated” with the growing population of rats and rodents and are looking for other safer alternatives.

“I don’t know what to do about [the poison ban]… I don’t know if there are any new kind of safe lethal poisons that kill rats and mice and not harm birds if they would happen to eat the carcasses,” said Vrstovsek.

Inderjeet Gill, manager of environmental health services for Fraser Health, recommended that people take preventive actions to reduce the rat population.

“We recommend keeping surroundings clean. Restaurants and other commercial spaces should have sanitation plans.” While these steps would not kill the rodents, they would stop their population from growing, he said.


RELATED: Three B.C. communities in top 5 of Canada’s ‘rattiest’ cities

READ MORE: Eight rats needing homes in Lower Mainland


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The rat population in some communities in B.C. has taken off in the past few years. (File photo)
Second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARS) banned in B.C. as they pose a risk of poisoning birds that eat poisoned rodents. (file photo)