How Pigeons and Poison in Saskatoon came to be an Advocacy Project:
For many years we had a wonderful woman who took in our injured & orphaned pigeons. She was amazing at going all over the city, helping with “nuisance” birds, giving information and advice, and advocating for these maligned but intelligent birds.
When she was no longer able to provide this service, and we began caring for these birds at the facility, we quickly became aware of just how many arrived having seizures from ingesting poisoned corn! SO many died….
As the bodies piled up, we realized that these birds are not the only ones at risk from this devastating practice. Crows were seen picking at the poisoned pigeons; our falconer friends worried about the Peregrines catching and eating a poisoned pigeon; dogs and cats might pick up a dead or dying bird and be at risk of ingesting the poison; as well as other wildlife. The full potential of the risk to the community was astounding.
What we have done:
We gave a presentation to Saskatoon City Council and asked them to ban the use of neurotoxins in City limits. The most common neurotoxin used for pigeons is Avitrol. They agreed that the City itself would no longer use this method to “manage” the pigeon population, but pest management companies continue to be hired by individuals and companies to place poisoned corn in the City.
We always know when a fresh batch of poison has been put out by the upswing in the number of poisoned pigeon calls we receive, and the vibrating/dying pigeons that are brought to us for care. Unfortunately, there is no antidote to the neurotoxin, and we can only provide a safe place until they die or recover…..
If you care to add your voice in asking for Saskatoon City Council to ban the use of bird poison (especially avitrol) within city limits, sign this petition. We will bring it forward to Council in spring 2021 and see where we get with our request. The more voices the Council hears, the more they will realize how wrong this outdated practice is, and should be ended!
What you can do:
Use your voice and express your opinion to City Council on the matter:
Write a letter via the on-line platform: https://www.saskatoon.ca/write-letter-councilcommittees
Speak to the matter at a Committee Meeting
Write or speak to your own City Councillor
If the City is unable or unwilling to ban the poison outright, we would like them to at least consider a mandatory signage program. Signs that are visible to the public at addresses where they have used the poison would provide the local community with the knowledge and the ability to take steps to protect their pets as needed. There is a similar signage requirement for companies using pesticides on lawns to ensure they notify the neighborhood via a sign that the lawn was treated with pesticides.