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Rodenticides rule changes


The Health & Safety Executive is to bring in a new competence scheme for the purchase and use of professional rat and mouse bait products.  This will take effect from June 2016 by which time anyone wishing to purchase or use these products will need to hold a “proof of competence” in rodent pest control. 

The change is being made to reduce the likelihood of non-target species, such as raptors and predatory mammals, being unintentionally harmed by rodent bait.  Gamekeepers and professional pest controllers will need to obtain a formal qualification to be able to continue with this work beyond June 2016.  Farmers who have membership of a farm assurance scheme will be exempt from gaining the qualification until at least the end of 2017.  In Scotland, this includes the QMS and SQC schemes. 

The government panel overseeing the scheme, which is led by HSE, will monitor the impact of the new arrangements, in the expectation that they will reduce non-target species exposure to rodenticides via changes to user practice – most notably through removing bait once it is evident that rodent pests have been controlled.  The HSE has made it clear that significant reductions in non-target species exposure to rodenticide bait will be essential to ensure  tighter restrictions are not introduced in future.  The full HSE press release is available here...

 

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