Farmers urged to update rodenticide training ahead of legislation changes

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Now is the time to prepare for changes in rat bait legislation and ensure appropriate farmer training is in place by 30 September 2016, advises farmer owned business Mole Valley Farmers.

To combat the issue of poisoning non-target animals, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) tasked the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) to co-ordinate, develop & deliver a stewardship regime to promote responsible use of rodenticide.

As a result, between 1 April 2016 and 30 September 2016, new labelling is being phased onto rodenticide packs of over 1.5kg and will now read; “For sale to and use by professional users only.” As of 30 September, anyone purchasing these packs will need to have carried out a LANTRA approved exam for rodenticide use or be a member of an approved farm assurance scheme.

Up until the September cutoff date, untrained individuals can still purchase the old labelled packs without qualifications, so stocking up could be advisable. However, legislation dictates this product must be used or disposed of by 31 of March 2017, and with old stocks likely to run out ahead of the autumn, this is a short term measure at best. Consequently, fulfilling training requirements is a must.

Mole Valley Farmers’ Product Manager, Paul Meredith says most farm businesses will be in the position where training is the most cost effective route for them to continue to use rodenticides.

“If your infestation is low level and you are following best practice by preventing infestations through good house-keeping, withdrawal of food/water sources and harborage and buying one or two 1.5kg packs of rodenticide over the season, you do not require the qualification. But for the majority of farms that require larger amounts of rodenticide, my advice is that doing the training online will be the most cost effective way to professionally control infestations. It will definitely save you money in the long term versus buying multiple small packs or hiring an outside party,” he explains.

Mole Valley Farmers has set up its own free, online training course at to help prepare farmers for the rodenticide exam. The course takes about 3-4 hours and users can then click through to the LANTRA website to carry out the exam, which costs £50+VAT for each attempt. Upon completion, a certificate number will be sent, which can then be used to purchase rat bait.

There are cases where farmers will be exempt from training requirements. This includes where individuals are signed up to specific farm assurance programs or have undertaken training programs, which have been given “grandfather rights.” For more information visit and pick up an information leaflet in any Mole Valley Farmers store.

Mole Valley Farmers have also developed a new range of “amateur use” rodenticides in packs of under 1.5kg. The range has the same strength as the bigger packs, but removes the need for training. It must be stressed however that this is not a sustainable way to control large or long-term infestations and best practice management should always be employed to prevent infestations.

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