A family near Indian Head is calling for stricter regulations on strychnine, a common pesticide in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Strychnine is used to protect crops and livestock from ground squirrels and gophers.

Kyle MacLintock and his family have seen the adverse effects of strychnine first-hand. While hosting a family barbecue on their acreage last year, MacLintock noticed that something was wrong with their dog Rue.

MacLintock says the dog lost the use of her back legs. MacLintock loaded Rue into their vehicle and rushed her to a vet clinic in Regina. Sadly, Roo died on the way to the clinic.

Tests done at the University of Saskatchewan confirmed Rue died from strychnine poisoning. Now, the family is calling on the provincial government to have stricter rules and regulations, along with better training for people using strychnine.

The family also wants the government to create a real-time interactive map to inform others of the use of the pesticide being used in their area.

“We think that, with something so deadly, there needs to be more education, training for the people using it, from a safety for them and for everybody’s standpoint,” MacLintock told CTV News.

Health Canada is conducting public consultation on its website on the use of strychnine on gophers. The consultation is open until Sept. 27.

“There is a stewardship program for ground squirrels and the use of strychnine,” said Richard Wilkins, a provincial pesticide specialist. “It’s a pretty rigorous program and it’s the only program that’s out there. None of the other rodenticides have a stewardship program associated with them.”

Strychnine is a registered pesticide that is only available in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

The provincial government says it will be paying close attention to the federal consultation when the results are released later this year.

Based on a report by CTV Regina's Creeson Agecoutay