Less than two years since the UK Rodenticide Stewardship Regime’s mid-2016 introduction, 13,000 users of professional-use-only rat baits have undergone training and been awarded approved certification.
This takes the proportion of stewardship-certified gamekeepers, for example, from 37% in 2015 to 60% in 2017. For professional pest controllers, the increase is from 96% to 98%.
In farming, there are now more than 97,000 members of stewardship-approved assurance schemes. Sector membership is led by dairy (99%), then poultry (92%) and pigs (88%), arable (84%) and sheep (79%). In addition, 23% of farmers have been trained and gained stewardship-certification, an increase from 19% in 2015.
These are highlights from the second annual UK Rodenticide Stewardship report, published by the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use UK under its remit to an HSE-led Government Oversight Group.
The report outlines progress and results in 2017 of the regime’s six stewardship work groups: Best Practice, Training & Certification, Point of Sale, Monitoring, Regulatory, and Communication.
CRRU UK chairman Dr Alan Buckle sounds an optimistic note of caution: “There are promising early signs of things going in the right direction, but much remains to be done,” he says.
Priorities for 2018 include independent audits of point of sale controls and a review of burrow baiting with new best practice guidelines; widespread use of a streamlined Environmental Risk Assessment checklist before rodenticide baiting and the next round of stewardship’s monitoring procedures.
The report is available at thinkwildlife.org/downloads.