Rodenticides poisoning research announced at Parasitec

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The results of a five-year study into the myths and realities of the anticoagulant poisoning of non-target species in France were outlined at the rodenticide workshop by Professor Philippe Berny and Dr Romain Lasseur from the Ecole National Vétérinaire de Lyon.

The research team, which also included Annie Bourret from the rodent control company Liphatech, looked at actual poisoning figures using data from the three leading French authorities – the human anti-poison centre, the domestic animal and environmental anti-poison centre and the wildlife toxicovigulance network. The latter identifies, investigates and evaluates potentially toxic hazards for wildlife and the environment.

With the regulatory authorities reviewing the use of rodenticides and looking to impose restrictions on these essential products, the group felt that is was important to make sure the facts about the non-intentional impact of rodenticide use were known.

The results were:

Human poisonings
Of the 124,897 suspected poisonings over the period, 770 involved anticoagulant rodenticides, which is just 0.6% of the total. No deaths were attributed to these products. Over 40% of the poisoning cases involved children in the 1 to 4 age group.

Domestic animal poisonings
Of the 14,145 suspected cases reported, 1269 were suspected anticoagulant rodenticide incidents which is around 9% of the total. 230 (18%) of these incidents resulted in the death of the animal concerned. Dogs and cats were the two species most often involved with dogs at 75% of reported cases being by far the largest proportion.


Rodenticide seminar speakers 
Left to right: Dr Romain Lasseur andProfessor Philippe Berny

 Rodenticide poisoning chart Source: Annie Bourret  

Wildlife incidents 
Of just 1750 reported incidents, 476 were suspected to be caused by rodenticides. However, the presence of anticoagulant rodenticide was only proved in 185 of these, which is around 11% of all reported cases.

As the graph above shows hares and rabbits were, at almost 40%, the biggest group affected with birds of prey and other predators making up 22% of incidents.

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