The third annual report from the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use on the implementation of the UK Rodenticide Stewardship Regime was published this month. The take home message for all professional rodenticide users is to continue to work hard to implement stewardship. There are now just two more years in which to show that the regime has made significant progress by changing user behaviour to reduce residues in wildlife.
The UK Stewardship Regime 2018 Annual Report focuses on the new activities implemented in the year with each of the six workgroups providing a summary of the progress made. The introduction of point of sale audits to check compliance with regime rules on purchaser proof of competence is highlighted as a particular achievement as are the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) modules produced to support user training and competence.
Importantly, the report also summarises the findings from the monitoring reports from independent contractors.One of these is the all-important barn owl liver residue monitoring, according to CRRU chairman Dr Alan Buckle. "This shows some decline in residues but none large enough to be scientifically or statistically significant," he says. "Even so, it does show that there was no significant increase in residues following the removal of the ‘indoor only’ restriction on products containing brodifacoum, difethialone and flocoumafen."
The report alos highlighted the introduction of new product labels with legally binding instructions for use which have been introduced folowing a review of rodenticides by the European Commission. These place even more restrictions on the use of rodenticides and, particularly, on permanent baiting. Dowload CRRU: Guidance on permanent baiting from the Pest library. Read our feature on permanent baiting.
In the press release, Dr Alan Buckle calls for continued vigilance and commitment to rodenticide stewardship from everyone involved. "We must all work to make sure that every element of the stewardship regime is implemented with full rigour to reduce rodenticide residues in UK wildlife in the near future. As imminently as 2020, HSE has signalled there will be an in-depth review of the stewardship regime and rodenticide impacts on wildlife, with possible further restrictions if targets are not met."