Canada bans the use of dedly strychnine in wildlife management

Progress in Canada's controversial wildlife management. Large carnivores can no longer be killed using strychnine, a particularly toxic alkaloid capable of causing great suffering in animals that ingest it

In a groundbreaking move, Health Canada has announced a complete ban on the use of strychnine for wildlife control and management across the Canadian territories. This decision marks a significant victory for animal welfare and environmental groups, who have long campaigned against the use of this potent poison.

No more strychnine in wildlife management

For years, animal protection organizations have documented the dangerous effects of strychnine, a toxin that induces severe and immediate symptoms in affected animals. Known for causing excruciating convulsions that can last up to 24 hours, strychnine eventually leads to death through suffocation or sheer exhaustion from unbearable suffering.

However, the impact of strychnine extends beyond its intended targets. Each year, this alkaloid is responsible for the deaths of a staggering number of non-target wildlife, including golden eagles, lynxes, and even pet dogs that encounter poisoned baits.

“This decision is a huge victory for wildlife across Canada. Strychnine is among the most horrific poisons out there. We are thrilled that animals will no longer endure the agony of strychnine poisoning in the Canadian landscape,” stated Kaitlyn Mitchell, Director of Legal Advocacy at Animal Justice.

What is strychnine?

Experts from the Italian Experimental Zooprophylactic Institutes explain that strychnine is a plant-based alkaloid extracted from the Strychnos nux vomica. It appears as a white powder with a bitter taste, unfortunately used in the preparation of poisoned baits.

Until now, the use of this substance was permitted in wildlife management programs in Canada, a practice widely regarded as unacceptable. Hence, animal welfare organizations consider this ban a significant achievement.

Alternative measures must be implemented

The scientific community has long advocated for the necessity of implementing alternative measures to wildlife culling for reducing livestock predation. The ban on poisoning represents a critical step toward a more respectful approach to animal life.

“There are more effective ways to prevent conflicts, which are also more ethically and environmentally responsible. Many Canadians are already successfully using them,” said Sadie Parr of WeHowl

highlighting the importance of adopting alternative conflict resolution methods that do not compromise animal welfare.

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