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Rules on purchasing rodenticides change today

1st Oct 2016 / By Alistair Driver

From today, October 1, farmers are reminded that the rules governing the purchase of rodenticides are changing.

Farmers, gamekeepers, pest controllers and their employees buying professional rodenticide packs for use outdoors will need to show either an approved certificate of competence or documentation confirming membership of an approved farm assurance scheme (see below for list).

RatWithout documentation from today, all sellers including those online are prohibited from completing the sale under the conditions of the UK Rodenticide Stewardship Regime.

Existing stocks with pre-stewardship labels are being replaced by stewardship-authorised rodenticides, which carry legally-binding requirements from HSE specifying user certification and compliance with product label conditions of use.

The stewardship scheme is being implemented by the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU), which reports to HSE.

In addition to new conditions of sale, CRRU UK chairman Dr Alan Buckle said the way rodenticidesare used must change in order to reduce the occurrence of residues in wildlife.

Responsible practice

"For many years it was thought best practice to set out bait points on farms, shooting estates and around rural premises, then keep them permanently topped up with rodenticide," he said.

"We now believe this practice is responsible, at least in part, for the contamination of wildlife that we now see so widely in the UK.

"Of course, there is no risk if rodenticides are not used. So it must become high priority in all outdoor rural locations to make them as inhospitable as possible to rodents.

“This is done by reducing harbourage and preventing access to foodstuffs. It is simply not acceptable to provide ‘bed and board’ for rodents, then attempt to solve the problem by repeatedly poisoning them with rodenticides."

CRRU UK has recently published new guidelines about safer and effective alternatives to permanent baiting, when it may be justified and, if it is, how to do it most safely.

These guidelines can be seen here along with information on certification and training.

Approved schemes:

  • British Egg Industry Council Code of Practice for Lion Eggs
  • Duck Assurance Scheme (Breeder Replacement, Breeder Layers, Hatcheries, Table Birds, Free-Range Table Birds)
  • Agricultural Industries Confederation (Compound Feeds, Combinable Crops and Animal Feeds)
  • Red Tractor Farm Assurance (Beef and Lamb, Dairy, Combinable Crops and Sugar Beet, Fresh Produce, Pigs, Poultry)
  • Quality Meat Scotland (Cattle and Sheep, Pigs)
  • Farm Assured Welsh Livestock (Beef and Lamb)
  • Scottish Quality Crops
  • Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assurance Scheme (Beef and Lamb, Cereals)
  • Quality British Turkey

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