2018 brings with it new restrictions on the use of rodenticides. Nic Blaszkowicz, UK and Ireland Business Manager of PelGar International, investigates the concerns regarding these regulations, and how the retailer can better advise customers.
Over the past two years, we have seen many changes in the regulations applied to rodenticides. Amateur use packs have been reduced in size to 1.5kg and consequently all those wishing to buy professional use packs have had to either gain official certification or belong to an approved Farm Assurance Scheme (FAS) that would see them through to the end of 2017.
Benefit of Farm Assurance Schemes
The first news comes in relation to the FAS’s. Those belonging to one of the following schemes have worked with CRRU (Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use) to bring their standards in line with the new regulations. Members of these schemes will therefore be allowed to buy and use professionally labelled packs without the requirement for additional certification:
- Agricultural Industries Confederation/Trade Assurance Scheme for Combinable Crops – www.aictradeassurance.org.uk
- Duck Assurance Scheme (Breeder replacement, Breeder layers, Hatcheries, Table birds, Free-Range table birds) – www.saiglobal.com
- Farm Assured Welsh Livestock (Beef and Lamb) – www.fawl.co.uk
- Laid in Britain – www.laidinbritaineggs.co.uk
- Red Tractor Farm Assurance (Beef and Lamb, Dairy, Combinable crops and Sugar beet, Fresh produce, Pigs and Poultry) – www.assurance.redtractor.org.uk
- Quality British Turkey – www.britishturkey.co.uk
- Scottish Quality Crops – www.sqcrops.co.uk
The next set of restrictions, which are scheduled to come on stream in early 2018, are set to strictly limit the availability of rodenticides to the non-certified or amateur user, such as equestrian owners. Under new classifications, the current strength rodenticides will no longer be available to amateur users after 1 March 2018 (and are likely to sell out before then). By reducing the concentration from 50ppm to 25ppm this classification can be avoided allowing a range of amateur products to remain on the market.
The first concern with a lower concentration of bait will be the efficacy. PelGar carried out extensive field trials on the 25ppm baits in the UK with the data then submitted for the UK authorisations, and in reality shows very little difference to 50ppm trials carried out previously. However, the key to any rodent control campaign is to use a top quality bait, site enough bait points and top them up regularly.
Smaller pack sizes
The next concern is the restriction on amateur pack sizes. Currently the maximum pack size is 1.5kg but in line with changes to the bait concentration, the maximum pack sizes are being reduced to 300g for block baits and 150g for wheat/pasta/pellet baits. While 1.5kg may have been sufficient for some amateur users, smallholders and equestrian users may struggle with the smaller sizes.
As a result of these changes, it is recommended that all rodenticide users get certified. A number of courses are available and the most straightforward of these is an online portal commissioned by the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB). There is a plethora of information on rodent control which is free to access and should be read prior to taking LANTRA’s online multiple choice exam (at a cost of £60). On successful completion, a certificate of competence is sent out in the post that will allow the purchase and use of professional rodenticide packs. Visit www.rodentcontrolonfarms.co.uk for more information and to enter the training portal.
In line with the changes coming up, PelGar will be amending its amateur product range and while current products up to 1.5kg will be available until the end of 2017, the new range of products (in smaller pack sizes) will be ready to purchase in the autumn of 2017. This new range will offer a choice of cut grain, whole grain, block bait and paste/pasta bait in a choice of PelGar’s three active ingredients, difenacoum, bromadiolone and brodifacoum.
For more information, please contact your local area manager or PelGar HQ.