Wednesday, 14 March 2012 15:53

Increased government funding for pest control in Saskatchewan

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On March 14, Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Bob Bjornerud announced $1.8 million to help producers and rural municipalities (RMs) control beavers, rats, wild boars and gophers.

"These pests can be a significant economic liability for our hardworking farmers and can cause damage to farmland," said Ritz. "This funding will ensure the continuation of successful programming to mitigate pest damage and help prevent financial losses for Saskatchewan farmers."

"Excess moisture in many areas of the province over the past two years has led to increased damage caused by beavers at a significant financial cost to producers," Bjornerud said. "This funding will help producers and RMs mitigate this damage, as well as problems caused by rats, wild boars and gophers."

The federal and provincial governments will provide $500,000 to the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) to continue administering the Beaver Control Program in 2012-13. According to the most recent 2011 claims, approximately 35,000 beavers have been removed under last year's pilot program, saving farmers and ranchers thousands of dollars in damages.

SARM will also receive $1 million to continue administering the Rat Control Program in 2012-13, an increase of $250,000 over last year. This is an 85 per cent increase in funding for rat control since 2007. In addition, SARM will receive $50,000 to continue administering the wild boar control program.

Producers will also continue to have access to funding for the control of gophers in 2012-13. Under the Gopher Control Rebate Program, producers and RMs are eligible to receive a 50 per cent rebate on eligible gopher control products.

The federal government's Pest Management Regulatory Agency has also recently approved registration of two per cent liquid strychnine for use in 2012 to help control gophers.

"There were resolutions brought to our convention floor calling for the continuation of the Beaver Control Program and we are pleased federal and provincial governments are addressing this concern," SARM President David Marit said. "Along with increased funding for rat control, continued funding for the control of wild boars and gophers, and access to strychnine to control gophers, producers now have more tools to help them address the problems caused by these animals."

Funding for these programs is being provided under the federal-provincial Growing Forward agreement.

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