Winnipeg cancels gopher poison program in 3 more parks

The City of Winnipeg cancelled its gopher control program in three more parks on Tuesday.

Control program suspended last week in Stanley Knowles Park, Wellington Park and Westview Park

The City of Winnipeg puts poison pellets in the holes of Richardson's ground squirrels (like the one shown here) in an effort to kill them and reduce the number of holes they create in city parks. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

The City of Winnipeg cancelled its gopher control program in three more parks on Tuesday.

St. Vital City Coun. Brian Mayes said the Mayor's Environmental Advisory Committee called for the suspension of gopher poison in city parks today, citing a need for more research into measures used by other municipalities.

Gopher poison was being used in seven Winnipeg parks and athletic fields. 

The city's gopher control operations were suspended last week in Stanley Knowles Park, Wellington Park and Westview Park following concerns raised about how and where the poison was applied.

The city started inspecting parks after several dog owners raised concerns about the use of gopher poison last week.

"I have real concerns if this stuff wasn’t put in the ground correctly," said Coun. Mayes over the weekend. "If there’s a risk of poisoning kids and dogs then we’ve done something pretty seriously wrong here if that’s the case."

Two other parks were approved for gopher control, but poison was never used there.