The University of Reading to close its Vertebrate Pests Unit

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Financial difficulties created by COVID-19 has resulted in the University of Reading taking the difficult decision to close the Vertebrate Pests Unit (VPU).

As a result, the University is no longer able to offer resistance testing or continue its part in the rodenticide resistance testing project.

The announcement also means that two research officers at the VPU, Montse Talavera and Clare Jones, will be leaving the University.

Ms Jones said: “We both want to thank you for your enthusiasm and participation in the project. Without your help we would not have been able to collect so many tail samples and fill in so many of the gaps on the maps. We truly appreciate the hard work of everyone involved.”

The Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) and the Rodenticide Resistance Action Committee (RRAC), which have been funding our research, are in the process of finding alternative laboratories to continue this important work.

Ms Jones added: “If you have tail samples stored in the freezer please listen out for future announcements by these two groups. It is essential that the mapping of resistance mutations continues for both the effective management of rodents and for the environment as a whole.”

All of the VPU’s results will be uploaded onto the RRAC online resistance maps, which can be accessed HERE. Remember to visit the website for the latest resistance updates.

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About Author

With more than 25 years' experience in business-to-business publishing, Simon is editor of LBM titles Pest and OvertheCounter. Big fan of Manchester United.