Many B.C. cities play host to large rat populations. The latest Orkin Rodent Rankings list is now out, with Vancouver number one. (Black Press File)

Many B.C. cities play host to large rat populations. The latest Orkin Rodent Rankings list is now out, with Vancouver number one. (Black Press File)

Salmon Arm council unmoved by plea for exemption from rodenticide ban

RJ Haney Heritage Village and Museum wants to continue using poison in order to protect artifacts

The City of Salmon Arm received kudos for its March 8 ban on rodenticides on city properties, but the appreciation was not unanimous.

Norma Harisch, president of the Salmon Arm Museum & Heritage Association, wrote to city council recently to request an exemption to the rodenticide ban in order to continue to allow the use of indoor bait stations at RJ Haney Heritage Village & Museum.

“Our association is responsible for the preservation of 24 buildings, many over 100 years old. Most of the buildings are unoccupied and checked periodically during the closed season from mid-September to mid-May. Stored in these unoccupied buildings are priceless artifacts and vehicles. Given the unique nature of the property and assets, it is difficult to monitor each building closely for rodent activity. We are concerned about the damage rodents could do without the use of rodenticide,” Harisch wrote.

She stated the village is set in a forested area with large fields that are home to a robust rodent population,.

“The bait stations set by Orkin are all indoors and are maintained on a regular schedule. If we cannot use the current system, we will need to use kill traps that need to be emptied after being tripped by a rodent. For the safety of our staff, we would require a technician from Orkin to conduct the maintenance of the traps. Orkin has informed us that there will be a call-out fee each time they have to come to reset traps. We are also doubtful of the efficacy of the trap system to properly manage and control the rodent problem,” she wrote.

Read more: City of Salmon Arm receives compliments on its stance on rat poison

Read more: Potential effect on raptors prompts Salmon Arm rodenticide ban on city property

Coun. Sylvia Lindgren, chair of the city’s environmental advisory committee, had put forward the motion to ban rodenticides on city properties in order to protect all the birds of prey which might eat a poisoned rat and die. She offered to do a month-long study by setting and emptying snap traps at Haney in order to determine where and how bad the rodent problem is.

“It appears that they’ve had rodenticides put out every single day for the past 12 years,” Lindgren said of Haney.

She argued that if rodenticides are used and mice get in, they can run around a building for two weeks chewing up artifacts until they die, whereas snap traps are instant.

“So they have no opportunity to eat anything else.”

Coun. Debbie Cannon said it’s admirable that Lindgren would carry out a study, but she thinks with all the artifacts the village must protect, the ban makes sense. She also noted the village has a cat which has not been harmed by eating rodents, nor have there been notice of negative effects on wildlife there.

Read more: Rodenticide ban finding traction in B.C. communities

Read more: Okanagan owl ‘fighting for her life’ after ingesting rat poison

Coun. Chad Eliason said he thinks the ban is too sweeping as it includes food services.

“We didn’t think of this one, with our all-encompassing policies. I knew this would come up. What we forgot is food service,” he said, noting the city owns buildings that provide food service. Eliason suggested the city support exemptions as rodenticides are industry standard for food service.

Coun. Louise Wallace Richmond did not support an exemption.

“It’s horrifying to know, to think about what consistent use of this does on birds of prey… I understand people don’t like mice, I don’t like them either, but I’m relying on Haney to take care of this problem in the most ethical, environmental way possible, and I can’t emphasize enough how I would like to see those rodenticides removed as soon as possible.”

No motion was made by council to provide the village and museum with an exemption to the rodenticide ban, so the ban stands.


marthawickett@saobserver.net
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Salmon Arm council

Just Posted

A concept rendering of the proposed seven-unit, two-storey development at 1129 Riverside Ave. in Sicamous. (District of Sicamous graphic)
Proposed luxury development in Sicamous sparks parking concerns

Seven-unit commercial-residential building planned for Riverside Avenue

The Shaw Centre and the SASCU Recreation Centre are the two largest producers of greenhouse gas emissions on City of Salmon Arm properties. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
City of Salmon staff surprised COVID not cause of drop in greenhouse gas emissions

2020 sees emissions on city-owned properties decrease well below 2019 totals

Shuswap Litas and Son of Stomp head out from uptown Askew’s parking lot on Thursday, June 10, some with teddy bears and stuffies, to ride to Pierre’s Point by Adams Lake community hall to show their support for band members in the wake of the confirmation of 215 children buried at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Shuswap bike clubs ride to support Indigenous communities

Motorcyclists go to Pierre’s Point in solidarity with bands in wake of residential school findings

Interior Health is offering mobile vaccination clinics for the first dose only of COVID-19 vaccine in the Shuswap from June 15 to June 19h. (Interior Health image)
First-dose vaccinations for COVID-19 offered via mobile clinics in Shuswap

Clinic in Salmon Arm scheduled for June 15, other clinics in Sorrento, Malakwa, Chase

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Denmark soccer player Christian Eriksen collapses during game against Finland

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More than 75% of B.C. adults have 1st dose of COVID vaccine

The federal government has confirmed a boost in the Moderna vaccine will be coming later this month

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

The rainbow flag flies beside the Canadian flag outside the University of the Fraser Valley’s Chilliwack campus on June 26, 2020. Monday, June 14, 2021 is Flag Day, and also June is Pride Month. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

Most Read