Why there are no rats in some Canadian provinces?

Alberta is the only province in Canada that does not have any rats, and in fact is the largest inhabited area on the planet which is rat-free. Rats had to come from Eastern Canada, and it’s a long walk, so it was not until 1950 until they finally reached Alberta. When they did, the Alberta government was ready for them. They instituted a very aggressive rat control program that killed every single rat that crossed the Alberta/Saskatchewan border.

Note the pentangular gap in Western Canada. That’s Alberta.

Spread of Rats across Western Canada:

The Agricultural Pests Act of Alberta, 1942, authorized the Minister of Agriculture to designate as a pest any animal that was likely to destroy crops or livestock. Every person and municipality had to destroy the designated pests. Where their pest control was not adequate, the provincial government could carry it out and charge the costs to the landowner or municipality.

Rats were designated as pests in 1950. An amendment to the act in 1950 further required that every municipality appoint a pest control inspector. In 1951, conferences on rat control were held in eastern Alberta, and 2,000 posters and 1,500 pamphlets called Rat Control in Alberta were distributed to grain elevators, railway stations, schools, post offices and private citizens.

During June 1952 to July 1953, 63,600 kg of arsenic trioxide powder was used to treat 8,000 buildings on 2,700 farms in an area 20 to 50 km wide and 300 km long on the eastern border. Some residents were not informed that arsenic was being used, and some, allegedly, were told that the tracking powder was only harmful to rodents. Consequently, some poisoning of livestock, poultry and pets occurred. Fortunately, Warfarin, the first anticoagulant rodent poison, became available in 1953. Warfarin is much safer than arsenic, and in fact is prescribed to some heart patients as a blood thinner.

Early Rat Control in Alberta:

The number of rat infestations in the border area increased rapidly from one in 1950 to 573 in 1955. However, after 1959, the numbers of infestations dropped dramatically.

The provincial share of rat control expenses increased to 100 per cent in 1975. All premises within the 29 x 600 km control zone from Montana to Cold Lake are now inspected at least annually. Rat infestations are eliminated by bait, gas or traps. Buildings are occasionally moved or torn down, and in some cases, rats are dug out with a backhoe or bulldozer. In the early days they also used shotguns, incendiaries, and high explosives to control rats. It was something of a war zone.

Hundreds of suspected infestations are reported each year, but most sightings turn out to be muskrats, pocket gophers, ground squirrels, bushy-tailed wood rats or mice. However, all suspected infestations are investigated.

A few white rats have been brought in by pet stores, biology teachers and well meaning individuals who did not know it was unlawful to have rats, even white lab rats or pet rats in Alberta. White rats can only be kept by zoos, universities and colleges as well as recognized research institutions in Alberta. Private citizens may not keep white rats, hooded rats or any of the strains of domesticated Norway rats. Possession of a pet rat can lead to a fine of up to $5,000.

In 2004 someone released 38 rats in Calgary. By the time the rat control officers arrived, most of them were dead. The local residents formed a posse and killed them with brooms, 2x4’s, and shovels. If the authorities had caught the culprit, he could have faced a $190,000 fine (38 x $5000) - assuming his neighbors didn’t beat him to death with brooms, 2x4’s, and shovels first. Albertans don’t want rats.

This information was taken from Quora. Click here to view the original post.

Have you ever heard about "ratless" Canadian province Alberta?

#Geography #Society #animals #Quora


What are your thoughts on this subject?
Never mind the rats in Canada, why not get rid of the RATS in Washington DC.
Jan 17, 2020 4:28PM
Warren Domke
I have some distant relatives in Edmonton; For that reason this article got my interest. Rats, among other things, are carriers of bubonic plague.
May 24, 2020 5:26PM
Christine Colabella
The US cities need to take some lessons from this!!
May 3, 2020 8:23AM
This was news to me, no rats in Alberta! Hard to believe. Thank you.
Mar 28, 2020 11:40PM
Christina Birnie
Remember reading about this some years we could do we some lessons in getting rid of rats as we have plenty in uk including some with 2 legs
Mar 5, 2020 3:26AM
Ellen Whitworth
I live here and believing me they are very aggressive when it comes to rat sightings Gregory Gorbach,
Feb 24, 2020 5:10PM
Doris Dallaire
But some of the politicians are as much pests as the rats!
Feb 24, 2020 4:23PM
Jerry Phillips
Not many invited from ottawa
Feb 17, 2020 2:24PM
Thomas Tae Suh
Darlene Davidson, nobody does.
Feb 9, 2020 5:37PM
they ate all of them
Feb 6, 2020 3:20PM
Jana Thornton
Gregory Gorbach, Govt. run rat patrol, poison laid out along border. Only rats, other than some politicians, are in uni labs.
Jan 6, 2020 4:59PM
Kathy Phillips
interesting, now if we could only get rid of the rats in Ottawa what a great country this would be
Jan 4, 2020 7:37AM
Bruce Lesperance
Better than the joke you guys elected. The world s laughing at the U.S.A.Louis Michael Durocher,,
Dec 31, 2019 11:19AM
Ernie Francis
Louis Durocher is right and the biggest one is in Ottawa!
Dec 30, 2019 5:17PM
Gregory Gorbach
I have to throw the BS flag on this one. I worked for a few years around 1980 on a farm/ranch a couple miles from Alberta in Montana and I saw plenty of rats. I also didn’t see or hear of any eradication efforts in Canada and I find it hard to believe that the rats respected the border
Dec 28, 2019 5:41PM

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