PrintA new one-day course will allow gamekeepers to go on controlling rats using professional rodenticides after a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) deadline of 1 July 2016.

Representative bodies for shooting and gamekeeping have combined with the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) and with BASIS Registration Ltd to offer the new course, Rat Control for Gamekeepers, which will include the necessary certification for successful candidates to go on buying and using professional rodenticides after product authorisations change on 1 July 2016.

Thereafter, anyone without an appropriate certificate will be restricted to using amateur-pack rodenticides, or will have to rely on traps, shooting and terriers – unless they have an alternative qualification for using Aluminium Phosphide gas.

The new rodenticide course, jointly owned by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), Countryside Alliance (CA), Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO), Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association (SGA) and CRRU will be available from the end of August, giving gamekeepers eleven months in which to attend before the new restrictions come in. It is approved on behalf of the HSE and meets their requirements for best-practice ‘Stewardship’ to reduce the risk of rodenticide residues getting into non-target wildlife.

Courses will be run by BASC, GWCT, the NGO and SGA. Members of any one of those organisations, and the CA, will be entitled to a special members’ cost price of £150 plus VAT, regardless of which organisation is delivering the actual course they attend. Non members will be charged £200 plus VAT wherever they attend. Both fees will cover the training itself, course literature, the exam at the end and, if successful, the issue of a certificate for the purchase and use of professional rodenticides.

The exam, a one hour multiple choice/true or false test, has been compiled and will be overseen by BASIS. It can either be taken on paper immediately after the training finishes, or can be taken later on-line, depending on the course attended, but candidates will need to specify when booking which option they require.

The first dates and venues for the new Rat Control for Gamekeepers course are now being arranged, with the following already in the diary and available for booking direct with the organisations that are running them:

24 August 2015 Englefield Estate, Berkshire (Organised by NGO)
1 September Stowell Park, Yarnworth, Gloucestershire (NGO)
15 September Fordingbridge, Hampshire (GWCT)
12 October Loddington, Leicestershire (GWCT)

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