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Wild Animal Law of Canada


Integrated Pest Management Act (BC)

(current to 01 July 2016)
Note Re Application of the Integrated Pest Management Act ('IPMA')

This law bears on the wildlife issues of:

The full current text of the Integrated Pest Management Act and it's Regulations may be viewed at the British Columbia statute website.

Table of Contents
1. Overview
2. Prohibitions and Protections
3. Licensing, Certifications, Permits and Pest Management Plans
4. Enforcement

1. Overview

The primary purpose of the Integrated Pest Management Act ('IPMA') is to regulate the sale and use of pesticides, which are defined as a "micro-organism or material that is represented, sold, used or intended to be used to prevent, destroy, repel or mitigate a pest" [IPMA 1]. For this purpose, 'pest' is an "an injurious, noxious or troublesome living organism, but does not include a virus, bacteria, fungus or internal parasite that exists on or in humans or animals" [IPMA 1]. 'Organisms' plainly include animals, and are defined in the Act as non-human vertebates and invertebates [IPMA 1]. By their nature, 'pest animals' tend to be wild animals.

2. Prohibitions and Protections

Broad protective provisions in the Act include prohibitions on the following [IPMA 3]:
  • using "a pesticide that causes or is likely to cause ... an unreasonable adverse effect";

  • using, handling, releasing, transporting, storing, disposing of or selling a pesticide in a manner that causes or is likely to cause, an unreasonable adverse effect;

  • using, handling, releasing, transporting, storing, disposing of or selling a pesticide in a manner violating the IPMA legal regime or the manufacturer's instructions;

  • using a pesticide registered under the federal Pest Control Products Act ('PCPA') (see that module) for a purpose other than that which it is PCPA-registered for;

  • using a fertilizer containing a pesticide in a manner and for a purpose other than as expressly allowed under the federal Fertilizers Act.
A second animal-related aspect of the IPMA is to protect the environment and non-pest animals from incidental harm from unsafe storage, transportation and application of pesticides [IPMA 33, 66-67, 71].

3. Licensing, Certifications, Permits and Pest Management Plans

Pesticide vendors and pesticide operators (exterminators) are subject to a licensing requirement [IPMA 4], and use of specific pesticides or classes of pesticides may be subject to certification [IPMA 5] and permit requirements [IPMA 6].

BC's IPMA has an additional requirement for the creation and filing of a "pest management plan" before some pesticides (as designated in the regulations) may be used or authorized for use [IMPA 7]. A pest management plan amounts roughly to an undertaking by the party intening to use the pesticide that they will do so in accordance with the Act and Regulations, and it is a part of the Act's 'integrated pest management' approach [IPMA 1]:
"integrated pest management" means a process for managing pest populations that includes the following elements:

(a) planning and managing ecosystems to prevent organisms from becoming pests;

(b) identifying pest problems and potential pest problems;

(c) monitoring populations of pests and beneficial organisms, damage caused by pests and environmental conditions;

(d) using injury thresholds in making treatment decisions;

(e) suppressing pest populations to acceptable levels using strategies based on considerations of

- biological, physical, cultural, mechanical, behavioural and chemical controls in appropriate combinations, and

- environmental and human health protection;

(f) evaluating the effectiveness of pest management treatments.
4. Enforcement

The IPMA authorizes appointed administrators to make Orders regarding proper use, handling, release, transport, storage or disposal of pesticides if they have reasonable grounds to believe that pesticide use "has caused or is likely to cause an unreasonable adverse effect" [IPMA 16]. The Minister has similar, though broader, Order authority [IPMA 8].

Inspectors for purposes of IPMA enforcement can be appointed [IPMA 11], and there is also a broad offence provision allowing prosecution of most IMPA violations [IPMA 26].

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