Strychnine is on it's way out as a method of pest control in Alberta within the next couple of years.

Vulcan County's Director of Agricultural Services, Kelly Malmberg, says he and other farmers and ranchers will be sad to see it go because nothing works better on gophers.

"On the pest front that is a big issue because areas have been really dry the last few years. They're still devastated by the high number of gophers. So, that's not good news coming into the Spring."

Malmberg, says there are alternatives, but they're not ideal.

"You know we've seen a lot of companies trying to find another alternative to it. And when you get a big gopher problem like this nothing seems to work. There are products out there but they're so intensive time-wise and they need multiple applications to work effectively."

Malmberg, says there really is no better method of gopher control.

"Strychnine does work well if it's used properly. It's just a couple of guys who didn't use it right and had some off-target kills and Health Canada said: "That's the end of that." So, it's back to shooting and using other products. There is other stuff, but it's going to make work a lot more labour intensive."

Malmberg says this is the last year they can legally sell strychnine, and they have to stop using it within the next two years.

In imposing the ban Health Canada says the poison carries risks to other species like the swift fox and burrowing owls, which eat gophers as one of their primary food sources.

Both the Alberta and Saskatchewan Governments along with the Canadian Cattleman's Association opposed the ban.