"Mass poisoning" of skunks in Metro Vancouver could endanger others

Feb 17 2023, 10:30 pm

A “mass poisoning” of skunks resulted in numerous animals being sent to a Metro Vancouver wildlife rehabilitation centre, prompting a warning to residents and pet owners.

The Fur-Bearers, a local wildlife protection charity, sent Daily Hive some information regarding the apparent mass poisoning in South Richmond after Critter Care received several poisoned animals.

Fur-Bearers says that upon arrival, some of the skunks were dead, while others had to be euthanized.

The skunks were found on different streets in a Richmond neighbourhood, including Number 5 Road, the 6690 block of Chelmsford Street, the 170 block of Howard Avenue North, the 1200 block of Cliff Avenue, the 10300 block of Whistler Place, the 4060 block of Regent Street and the 8300 block of Saunders Road.

While it is alleged that the skunks were targeted, the poison used in these incidences could also impact other species, including birds, pets, and possibly even children.

“Dogs, cats, other wildlife, and children could all be at risk if poisons are being left accessible to skunks or if baits are being used,” said Lesley Fox, executive director of the wildlife protection charity, The Fur-Bearers, in a statement.

“While only skunks are reported right now, it doesn’t mean other animals aren’t suffering. We are asking anyone using poisons to remove them and consult humane wildlife removal experts like those certified by the BC SPCA’s AnimalKind program.”

Fox added, “No government agency seems to want to claim jurisdiction.”

Fox said that skunks fall outside the mandate of organizations like the BCCOS, the SPCA, and the City of Richmond.

“Under the legislation, skunks are not a highly valued species and are considered ‘pests.’ This is extremely short-sighted though, as poison proliferates through ecosystems – birds, other mammals, even pets could be affected.”

This news follows another animal-related incident in Richmond earlier this week, when numerous dead geese were found, apparently struck by multiple cars.

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