Additional biosecurity measures when sending rat and mouse tail samples for rodenticide resistance testing have been introduced.
Farmers, gamekeepers and pest controllers are being asked to follow new packaging guidance at thinkwildlife.org/downloads.
Two main changes are to double-bag the samples and include a UN3373 label, which can be downloaded from the website, on outer packaging.
This free service is run by the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use. The DNA testing is conducted by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) in Weybridge, Surrey.
CRRU chairman Dr Alan Buckle said samples from freshly killed rats and mice are wanted from pest controllers, farmers and gamekeepers who either think they may have resistance problems or who may just want to learn more about rodents in their area.
“The spread of resistance can only be tackled if we know where it is and where it isn’t,” he said. “We are entirely dependent on people using this service for the necessary data.”