Future availability of professional rodenticide baits in users’ own hands

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To protect the future availability of high potency rodenticides to farmers, gamekeepers and pest controllers, new practical guidelines have been issued by the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use UK.

According to CRRU chairman Dr Alan Buckle: “The need arises because, as responsible rodenticide users already know, annual monitoring of barn owls from 2016 to 2021 finds stubbornly static rodenticide presence in nearly 90% of barn owls.

“Although not monitored so routinely, many other predator, scavenger and prey species are also known to carry rodenticide contamination. These include red kites, buzzards and kestrels, and mammals such as hedgehogs, voles and field mice.

“Clearly, it’s imperative that rodenticide use is universally in well-intentioned hands.”

Farmers, gamekeepers and pest controllers

The new guidelines are written for farmers, gamekeepers and pest controllers collectively, with the intention to avoid any one of them scapegoating the others. It recognises the reality, Dr Buckle says, that “all three groups have some non-compliant, off-grid members who are not enfranchised to any of the industry bodies that are so supportive of CRRU and rodenticide stewardship.”

Based on 30+ pages of detail in the full-length CRRU Code of Best Practice (thinkwildlife.org/download/crru-uk-code-of-best-practice-2021/), the guidelines cover:

  • First things first – a clear plan for control andstaying legal.
  • Risk hierarchy – simplest and lowest risk first.
  • Non-poison – much to gain, few disadvantages.
  • Rodenticides – which to use for best and cost-effective results?
  • Bad landlord – repel or exclude unwanted residents.
  • Checklist for max impact, max cost-effectiveness, no unintended consequences.

Printed and digital copies are available free of charge as a download from the CRRU website, thinkwildlife.org/downloads, and from CRRU-member rodenticide suppliers.

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About Author

Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is an avid follower of Stoke City.