Insecticide for livestock banned

An insecticide once popular for controlling lice in cattle has been banned from use in livestock.

The Pest Management Regulatory Agency withdrew the licence for malathion in livestock after reviewing the pesticide and its uses.

“As a result, all malathion-based pesticides for direct application to livestock for food, including beef and dairy cattle, goats (non-milking), poultry, sheep and swine have been discontinued,” Robert Martin, the PMRA’s regulatory information officer, said in an email.

He said the PMRA’s re-evaluation program is reviewing pest control products registered before Jan. 1, 1995, to determine if their use continues to be acceptable under today’s standard for health and environmental protection.

Ken Ziegler, a beef specialist with Alberta agriculture, said livestock producers would have to look for alternative products for pest control, especially for use in cattle oilers.

Ziegler said malathion has been used less frequently over the past few years in favour of other products. As well, lice and other pests have become less of an issue with the more common use of ivermectin on livestock when cattle are processed in fall.

Ziegler said ivermectin seems to provide good control of lice throughout winter when the insect is an issue.

More interest in pesticides and livestock has resulted in less tolerance for any pesticide products, he added.

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