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Simon Shields,
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Wild Animal Law of Canada

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Pest Control Act (Saskatchewan)

(current to 15 August 2016)

Note Re Application of the Pest Control Act ('PCA')

This isn't a standard pesticides act like most other provinces have. It's much more about creating a duty on landowners and occupiers to kill and control pests on their land, toward the larger goal of broad provincial agricultural interests. It has no content addressing the regulation of pesticides, storage, transportation or application methods. The PCA is an extermination 'duty' statute. Norway rats and Richardson’s ground squirrels are the only animals declared to be pests under the PCA.

This law bears on the wildlife issues of:
  • EXTERMINATION
  • MUNICIPAL JURISDICTION
  • CIVIL LIABILITY
The full current text of this legislation (including regulations) may be viewed at the Saskatchewan statute website.

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Table of Contents
1. Overview
2. Municipal Jurisdiction
3. Civil Liability
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1. Overview

As far as wildlife go, Saskatchewan's Pest Control Act ('PCA') is all about the extermination of two species: Norway rats and Richardson's ground squirrels. These species have been declared by the Minister to be 'pests' by virtue of being "animal(s) ... that [the Minister] deems likely to be destructive of or dangerous to any crop, grain, live stock or other property" [PCA 2(e),3, Pests Declaration Regulations ('PD Regs')].

The PCA creates the following duties and provisions to achieve these extermination objectives:
  • (e)very person shall take measures to destroy, control and prevent the spread of all pests on any land or other premises owned, occupied or controlled by him [PCA 4];

  • (e)very person shall take measures to destroy any crop, vegetation, vegetable or other matter on any land or other premises owned, occupied or controlled by him that may contribute to the spread of any pest [PCA 5];

  • where the Minister if of the opinion that unoccupied Crown land in a municipality "is infested with any pests he may order the destruction of the pests" [PCA 7];

  • municipalities may impose general 'pest control' taxes over it's ratepayers [PCA 10].
The PCA regime enforces these and other provisions in part by a broad offence provision [PCA 33].


2. Municipal Jurisdiction

Municipalities are given by-law authority "whenever a pest appears in a municipality or whenever the council of a municipality is of opinion that a pest is likely to appear in the municipality" to "pass bylaws providing for the purchase of materials required for the control or destruction of the pest within the municipality and for the distribution thereof", and to "require every person owning, occupying or controlling land or premises in the municipality to control or destroy any pests on the land and premises" [PCA 12(1,2)]. On default of any such orders the duties may be carried out by appointed officers at the expense of the person responsible [PCA 21].


3. Civil Liability

The Minister, municipalities and their agents are immune from liability under all torts except negligence "in respect of the setting out, distribution or use of any insecticide, fungicide or poison, or in respect of anything done by" them under the PCA regime [PCA 31].

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