So far, so good…for UK Rodenticide Stewardship Regime

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Another pest control event, another progress report on the stewardship of anticoagulant rodenticides!


Alan BuckleDr Alan Buckle gave an update on rodenticide stewardship at PestEx

GOG stewardship reportThe Government Oversight Group has published its first report on anticoagulant rodenticide stewardship

Dr Alan Buckle chair of the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU), the body responsible for the stewardship regime implementation, described how the structure of CRRU had been reorientated to meet the changing requirements of managing, rather than establishing the stewardship regime.

Relabelling completed
From a regulatory point of view, the changes to hundreds of rodenticide labels has been achieved in an orderly fashion with the switch to the new labels in accordance with an agreed timetable. At the time of writing, products with old labels have now passed their ‘use up’ deadline, which was 31 March 2017.

Monitoring begins
The ‘monitoring’ phase has now begun. One measure is the analysis of the livers of 100 barn owls per annum for the duration of the stewardship regime. The anticoagulant levels will be compared to data from 2006 – 2012. Data from 2015 have been plotted as a ‘pilot’ study with 2016 results being the first substantive set. The Government Oversight Group is expecting a significant downward trend in levels of anticoagulant rodenticides over a four year period.

Amateur use restrictions
Alan Buckle also reported that the UK competent authority, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), has decided to exclude amateur use from the stewardship scheme, at least for now. This is on the basis that there are additional restrictions on the way amateur products are supplied and used.

These include restricting baits only to be applied in tamper resistant bait stations, maximum pack sizes to be reduced to 100g for mice and 300g for rats and access only to baits containing less than 30ppm of active substance. Baits for mice will be restricted to indoor use only and that for rats to ‘in and around buildings’.

No toothless tiger
Any notion that the UK Rodenticide Stewardship Regime might be a toothless tiger however has been dispelled by the first formal assessment from that HSE-led Government Oversight Group.

The report confirms the regime is ‘fit for purpose’ but, it warns, that failure to deliver a reduction in second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides in barn owls, as a sentinel species, may result in changes to the regime.

Among elements currently in progress, it is the need for verification audits at point of sale that is now a priority.

As Dr Buckle told Pest: “Ensuring that professional rodenticides are only available to responsible certified users in all user groups – farmers, gamekeepers and public health pest control professionals – is a critical priority. With rodenticides in competent hands, the goal is meaningful behavioural change leading to measurable effects in non-target species.”

Recognising practical reality in its report, the Oversight Group points out that it does not underestimate the significance of this challenge and recognises the significant efforts and achievements of CRRU and all involved. In particular, the report notes the challenge of getting stewardship standards in place on 100,000 farms.

Download a copy of the first Government Oversight Group report from the Pest library. Further reports will be published annually as part of the ongoing monitoring process.”

The first CRRU annual rodenticide stewardship report was published in February and can be downloaded from the Pest library. 

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