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Canada  

Poisoning our wildlife

Ottawa is taking extra steps to find out if Canadians are still OK with killing wildlife in what one scientist calls "one of the worst ways to die on earth."

Health Canada's Pest Management Review Agency has extended public consultations into whether it should consider cruelty before licensing poisons used to control large predators, including wolves.

The most common of the three toxins under consideration is strychnine.

The agency says it began the review in response to what it calls growing public concern about the humaneness of such chemicals.

Alberta is one of Canada's largest strychnine users, which uses it to kill wolves to help caribou herds survive in ranges heavily impacted by industrial development.

Ryan Brook, a professor in the University of Saskatchewan's agriculture department, calls strychnine one of the worst ways to die in terms of pain and remaining aware.

A government spokesman says Alberta is talking with the federal government on the most effective and humane way to use toxins like strychnine.



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