Bird gel products latest casualties of BPR?

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More products are to be lost to the Biocides Regulation (BPR) requirements despite there being no known adverse impacts from their use – another case of the regulatory system gone mad?

As reported in Pest issue 46 August & September 2016, all of the bird gel products – Bird Free, To Nature Bird Free, Avigo Chilli Pepper Gel and Ornaway Bird Gel currently sold in the UK are being affected by a regulatory change.

It turns out that these products have only been available in the UK because of a special UK BPR derogation for foodstuff-based repellents and attractants. This derogation runs out on 30 October 2016. After that date the products will be governed by the BPR. This means they will have to be withdrawn from sale until such time as they have successfully made it through the BPR review programme. Products, however, can continue to be used until 30 April 2017.

Only temporary
Fortunately for two of the products, the withdrawal should only be temporary.

Both Bird Free, sold by Bird Free UK and distributed by Killgerm and Ornaway, which is manufactured and distributed by Barrettine, are being supported through the review programme. Indeed, with a following wind, Ornaway might escape withdrawal altogether as Barrettine has already completed the necessary trials and submitted a dossier for EU approval.

Barrettine’s Charles Phillips told Pest that because the product is based on foodstuffs the company has taken advantage of a simplified approval process available under BPR. They were not disclosing what all this had cost, but you can be sure it didn’t come cheap. Take a look at the charges published on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website. Fees for a simplified active substance dossier vary from £7.500 to £100,000 for the data package evaluation plus £40,000 for EU Discussion and Committee Process. And that’s just the regulatory work, in addition there are costs for analytical data packages and field trials, as well as consultants charges for dossier preparation and submission.

So, well done Barrettine for getting stuck in and investing in the future of a product that many pest professionals have found extremely useful.

Bird Free UK has also made it clear that its product will be supported through the BPR review and in an announcement from distributor Killgerm the hope is that: “It will be re-launched later in 2017.” We understand that trials have been commissioned and regulatory consultants are now working to gain EU approval.

Let’s hope that both these products make it through the system but, as readers know, anything to do with the approval and authorisation of a biocide can be unpredictable, so estimating exactly how long it might take is almost impossible. If you use these products our advice is to buy in sufficient stock ahead of the 30 October deadline to see you through to 30 April 2017.


Barrettine’s Ornaway is awaiting an EU decision
on its approval status

Bird Free

Bird Free is also being supported through the BPR review programme

What about the other products on the market?
Rentokil’s Jim Kirk confirmed that the last date for manufacture of the company’s Avigo product is 30 October 2016. Distributors of Avigo will not be able to sell the product after 30 October 2016 but, of course, Rentokil’s position as both manufacturer and end-user means stocks can continue to be used up by Rentokil technicians until 30 April 2017.

Rentokil is still considering its options but Jim Kirk said: “We will not be supporting this product through BPR, it’s simply not viable to do so, but we may look at reformulating the product in order to take advantage of the simplified registration route. Unfortunately the current active in Avigo (capsicum) is not listed as an approved active for this simplified registration, so we would need to look at reformulating before that route becomes available to us.”

Read more about what the HSE has to say about foodstuff-based repellents and attractants.

As for the To Nature Bird Free there are no plans to support the product, so that will disappear from the market from 30 October this year.

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