Since June 2016, as part of the stewardship regime to allow the continued use of rodenticides, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states that those who wish to buy or use ‘professional only’ anticoagulant rodenticides will need to have certification which demonstrates that they have been trained. This was introduced in order to comply with EU directives. The HSE cannot legally allow the use outdoors of high-risk products without a process to mitigate and manage the risks to wildlife.
All anticoagulant rodenticides, including first-generation types such as warfarin, fail EU environmental risk assessments for outdoor use because of the likelihood of poisoning non-target species. However, without them it would be very difficult to control rats and mice. Consequently the HSE agreed that anticoagulants can be used outdoors only by people who can show they have been trained in recognising the risks and how to minimise them.
Since June 2016 all anticoagulant rat baits, excluding the small packs for domestic use in and around buildings, will be labelled as follows:
For supply to and use only by professional users holding certification demonstrating that they have been trained according to the UK second generation anticoagulant rodenticide (SGAR) stewardship programme requirements.
There are a number of approved certificates* relevant to each of the different ‘industry sectors’ which will allow the purchase of these rodenticides. These include the Rat Control for Gamekeepers course which has been developed by BASC and other shooting organisations working with the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) and costs £150 for members and £200 for non-members. Members of BASC, CA, GWCT, NGO and SGA can attend any of the available courses that are delivered by any of the organisations at the membership rate.
The course will consist of approx. five hours of theory-based training followed by an examination which is being overseen independently by BASIS. Upon successful completion of the exam, a certificate will be issued enabling the holder to purchase these products.
Advice how to use rodenticides and control rats using other methods is available in the CRRU guide Rat Control and Game Management.
Free information materials support CPD and best practice rodent control
A new set of information materials supporting effective and responsible rodenticide use has been published by UK Rodenticide Stewardship and is available free of charge to all users. Topics are: Exposure of wildlife to rodenticides; Direct bait application in burrows; Environmental risk assessments; and Changes to classifications and pack sizes. Each one includes detailed notes and some offer suggested additional reading. The modules can be downloaded from bit.ly/2AM8CG2. They have been compiled by Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use UK experts, co-ordinated through CRRU work groups. More are in the pipeline, according to the CRRU Training & Certification work group leader Dr Matthew Davies.