Overview of the Pest and Nuisance Control Regulation

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 One of Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s (AF) goals is the safety of Alberta’s food chain as well as the protection of property and humans from declared pests and nuisances in the Province of Alberta.

Purpose | Duty of Individual | Pest versus Nuisance |Inspectors | Powers of Inspector | Role of AF


The Agricultural Pests Act and associated Pest and Nuisance Control Regulation are in place to manage, control and eradicate various pests and nuisances in the Province of Alberta.

Duty of Individual

An owner or occupant of land may prevent the establishment of, control and destroy a nuisance on land. An owner/occupant will take active measures to prevent the establishment of pests on or in the land, property or livestock unless otherwise authorized by the Minister. The owner/occupant is also responsible to control or destroy all pests on or in the land, property or livestock unless otherwise authorized by the Minister, and destroy any crop, vegetation or other matter that contributes or may contribute to the maintenance or spread of pest on or in the land, property or livestock.

Pest Versus Nuisance

The difference between a pest and a nuisance is the method in which they are controlled.
A pest shall be eradicated and a nuisance is to be controlled.

Examples of a nuisance include: coyote, skunk, Richardson’s ground squirrel, deer mouse, house mouse, English sparrow and magpie.

Examples of pests are: Dutch elm disease, Norway rat, warble fly, rabies and wild boar.

A complete list of pests and nuisances is available under Sections 2 and 3 of the Pest and Nuisance Control Regulation.

An “animal” or “bird” does not include: big game, a bird of prey, a game bird or an endangered animal (as per the Wildlife Act).


Inspectors are responsible for monitoring and control of the following disease and pests in the province:

  1. Dutch elm disease (Ophiostoma ulmi and Ophiostoma nova-ulmi);
  2. Norway rat and any other rat species or strain derived from the genus Rattus;
  3. Wild boar (Sus scrofa) is declared to be a pest where it is at large in Alberta.
An appointed inspector has the authority to inspect properties, set bait and authorize and/or supervise eradication of a pest or nuisance in the Province of Alberta. The inspectors are located throughout the province and any one of the inspectors may be contacted by calling 1-866-252-6403.

Inspectors may be appointed by a local authority (Agricultural Service Board Act) or by the Minister to carry out this Act and Regulations. An agricultural fieldman, by virtue of his position, is an inspector under this Act. The agricultural fieldman can be contacted by calling your local county, municipal district or special areas office.

Powers of Inspector

An inspector may, for the purpose of carrying out his duties, enter at any reasonable hour to inspect the land or any buildings, property or livestock on the land. Reasonable notice must be given to the owner or person in control if there is a deemed requirement for livestock to be assembled and/or confined for the purpose of an inspection.

Role of AF

AF provides leadership and support for safe food production systems and global market access for Alberta’s agriculture and food industry through information, services and administration of legislation.

To obtain additional information regarding the Agricultural Pests Act and/or the Pest and Nuisance Control Regulation or if you have questions regarding the interpretation and enforcement of the legislative provisions please contact:

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
Animal Health and Assurance Branch
Inspection and Investigation Section
301 Provincial Building
4920-51 Street
Red Deer AB T4N 6K8
Telephone: 1-866-252-6403
Fax: 403-340-5870

A toll-free telephone number is available if you wish to report a concern relating to this legislation. AF’s toll-free hotline telephone number is 1-866-252-6403.

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This document is maintained by Karen Hladych.
This information published to the web on March 6, 2009.
Last Reviewed/Revised on February 15, 2017.