Rodenticide Stewardship – Farmers to Require Training

As you begin to see news reported in the major farming press about the rodenticide stewardship scheme there may be some concerns raised amongst the farming community; but what does it all mean and what are the implications? Currently all rodenticides over 1.5kg are labelled ‘for professional use’. There is no issue with who these products are actually sold to as the onus is on the end user, and farmers are considered professional users as they are using rodenticides as part of their daily work. There are concerns that all professional users should be appropriately trained and this has been raised to try and minimise the rodenticide residues that are being found in non-target species. In response to this the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) has produced a new CRRU Code of Best Practice (CoBP) which sets out the standards to which rodenticides should be used and thus the level of training required. Without this there is a real threat that rodenticides could be banned altogether and with no alternative this would have major implications. As such, from April 2016 we are going to see the introduction of a new label requirement:

“For supply to and use only by professional users holding certification demonstrating compliance with UK rodenticide stewardship regime requirements.”

Once this is introduced there will be a requirement for all retailers to check certification prior to the sale of professional use rodenticides. This means that farmers will have to undergo a training course or else either employ a professional pest controller or buy multiple small packs that are labelled for amateur use. There are already a couple of courses available to farmers (visit www.thinkwildlife.org for latest info). The advice of PelGar, a key Agricentre supplier, would be to hold fire for a short period as there is an online training platform being developed by the AHDB which will then lead on to an online exam which will provide the necessary certification once passed. All rodenticides will carry new labels from June 2016 and existing stocks will sell through quickly, so this is really the deadline to be working to. If a farmer/farm is an existing member of a recognised farm assurance scheme such as Red Tractor (full current list can be found at www.thinkwildlife.org) then this will count as equivalent to gaining certification and allow professional use rodenticides to be purchased up until December 2017. This will allow either for extended time for assured farms to undergo further training or potentially the assurance schemes may bring their standards in line with CRRU Code of Best Practice, which would then allow for membership of that scheme to count as proof of competence going beyond this date. If this all sounds a bit complicated then it is, but it is a necessary step to ensure future use of these products. If you or your customers have any concerns, please speak to us in depot or on farm. The rules governing Rodenticide purchases are changing. Learn more to understand why, how and when these changes take effect and what our advice to you is right now.