Saskatchewan

Tisdale deaths, gun concerns spur Humboldt, Sask., to halt pest program

The City of Humboldt says it's suspending its pest control program amid growing concerns about weapon use in the region.

City has used contractor to shoot crows, other nuisance animals

Citing concerns about 'weapon use', the City of Humboldt has suspended it's pest control program. (CBC)

The City of Humboldt, Sask., says it's suspending its pest control program amid growing concerns about weapon use in the region.

The community 110 kilometres east of Saskatoon says it has a longstanding program and uses a trained professional to provide pest control, but decided to put it on hold following "recent events."

The notice on the city's website didn't elaborate about the events, although local media said concerns were raised after someone posted on Facebook about seeing someone with a rifle.

That was an apparent reference to city's pest control worker, who shoots crows and other nuisance animals from time to time.

A city spokesperson told CBC there's sensitivity about weapons in the wake of this week's quadruple homicide in Tisdale, as well as an armed robbery where two people were shot in Quill Lake.

"The safety and well-being of our residents has always been a top priority," the April 23 notice says. 

"Therefore, to dispel any concerns, the City of Humboldt has temporarily suspended the pest control program in order to review our internal processes for notifying the community of services occurring in their area." 

The city says it will reinstate pest control once the notification system has been put in place.

It's not the first time Saskatchewan residents have been alarmed by the sight of an armed pest control officer.

The RCMP detachment in Foam Lake got some calls in 2013 about a man with a rifle shooting things in town. It turned out the pest control worker was killing gophers.

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