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How will the new rodenticides control laws affect farmers?

From June 2016, farmers will no longer be able to buy professional-strength rodenticides, used for the control of rodents such as mice and rats, unless they have a certificate of competence.

The new legislation is being introduced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following an EU directive in 2011. It aims to ensure rodenticides are used more responsibly to reduce their impact on other wildlife.

The requirements will start to be phased in from Spring 2016. All rodenticide poisons for sale are currently being reviewed, and by September 2016 all those classified as “stewardship” rodenticides will only be available to those with a certificate of competence. Following lobbying by UK farmers unions, for the first six months, a farm assurance scheme will also be accepted as proof of competence.

Rodent control options for farmers after June 2016

There are three main options for farmers wishing to continue rodent control using rodenticides following the introduction of the new legislation. These are:

  • Obtain a certificate of competence through an approved training programme. 
  • Become a member of a UK farm assurance scheme with an audited programme of rodent pest management (this will only apply until 31 December 2017).
  • Work with a professional pest controller with certificate of competence.

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