Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes has joined residents in the fight to reduce the use of rodenticides after two owls were poisoned. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich mayor joins fight to protect local wildlife from rat poisoning after second owl dies

Mayor Fred Haynes to meet with provincial, federal pest control industry representatives

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes is joining concerned residents in the fight to reduce the use of rat poison.

Two owls have died near Kings Park from suspected rodenticide toxicity since November 2019 and Saanich residents Robert Vanzella and Deanne Pfeifer are taking action – now with Haynes’ help.

Vanzella found a Barred Owl slumped at the bottom of its roosting tree near Kings Park on Nov. 29, 2019 and a necropsy report from the Ministry of Agriculture shows it had brodifacoum and bromadiolone – commercial-grade rat poisons – in its system.

READ ALSO: Saanich residents sound alarm after second owl dies of rat poison

A Great Horned Owl was alive when it was first spotted swaying near a construction site on Kings Road this month. Workers saw it fall to its death and reached out to Vanzella and his wife, Pfeifer, to collect it. A necropsy showed it had ingested brodifacoum, bromadiolone and difetialone rat poisons.

Pfeifer and Vanzella have reached out to a number of local authorities to share their concerns about the use of rodenticides in the area including the Saanich and Victoria mayors and council, the B.C. Senior Integrated Pest Management Officer and municipal health officers.

Haynes was quick to voice support for the cause, Pfeifer said.

READ ALSO: Kings Park owl found dead, neighbours request an autopsy

“It’s a dismay” to see a second owl lost, Haynes told Black Press Media, adding that he teared up when he saw the Barred Owl after it died. He commended Pfeifer and Vanzella for their “compassion” and dedication to the issue.

On May 28, Haynes said he plans to meet with Sean Rolo, president of the Canadian Pest Management Association and Christopher Day, president of the Structural Pest Management Association of B.C. in the next week to discuss next steps when it comes to the pest control industry and protecting wildlife.

Council discussed pesticides while adopting proposed amendments to Saanich’s pesticide bylaw on May 25, he said, but the focus was not on rodenticides as they’re regulated at the provincial level. Rather, the amendments updated bylaw to address changes to Provincial legislation, create consistency among municipalities in the Capital Regional District and make the wording clearer. Changes included adding 22 pesticides to the list for general use and removing two others.

READ ALSO: Necropsy results show Kings Park owl likely died from rat poison

“Going on as we are is unacceptable,” Haynes said. “These products are legally available … but the question is ‘what can we do to reduce the impact on wildlife?’”

He’s supportive of Pfeifer and Vanzella’s advocacy for a reduction of rodenticide use, covering garbage bins, public education about risks and seeking alternative pest-control options.

Pfeifer calls Kings Park a “unique panhandle property” located near the border of Saanich, Victoria and Oak Bay. She feels a coordinated approach to changing rodent control tactics in the region would be beneficial.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

District of Saanich

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A Great Horned Owl found dead near Kings Park killed by rat poison. (Photo courtesy Robert Vanzella)

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Greater Victoria housing market sees positive bump in June

Sales up by 76.8 per cent compared to May

Owners say loss of parking pushes businesses to the brink

New Penny Farthing patio ‘will be like New Orleans, or Las Vegas’

Saanich plugs into $100,000 government grant for 20 new EV chargers

Six chargers to be installed at four municipal parks

Saanich woman says sexual assault was dismissed by police because of her ‘body language’

Patrol officers investigate sexual assault files, make decisions on what goes to Crown counsel

‘Tarantula moth’ spotted in broad daylight in Victoria

Polyphemus moths are one of the largest insects in B.C.

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

‘Queue jumpers’ not welcome in B.C. as COVID-19 U.S. cases rise: Horgan

Premier Horgan said he’s heard concerns that Americans have stopped at Vancouver hotels instead of heading to their destination

Playing his tune

Musician Daniel Morel breaks out a tune with his harmonica in front… Continue reading

US officer resigns after photos, connected to death of black man in 2019, surface

Elijah McClain died, last summer, after police placed him in a chokehold

Black worker files discrimination complaint against Facebook

Oscar Veneszee, Jr. has worked as an operations program manager at Facebook since 2017

Nestle Canada selling bottled water business to local family-owned company

The Pure Life bottled water business is being sold to Ice River Springs

Major B.C. salmon farm tests new containment system to curb sea lice infestations

System “essentially eliminates” contact between wild and farmed fish stocks, says Cermaq

Most Read