24 July 2015

New law on pest control puts farmers under pressure

FARMERS are facing a race against time to comply with strict new rules on specialist pesticides. The use of poisons to control rats and mice will become subject to fresh legislation next year.

Anyone who uses the lethal products will need to have relevant credentials in place - or they could face prosecution.

Simon Forrester, chief executive of the British Pest Control Association (BPCA), believes the move will have a big impact on farmers, whether they carry out their own pest control or use professional contractors. And he's warning that the clock is already ticking ahead of the June 1 deadline.

He said: "Laws governing the use of certain pesticides are changing and farmers who use them need to be well aware.

"Tighter controls come into force next summer and those who intend to keep pest control in-house must take action.

"They will need qualifications to show they can use these products responsibly or be on an approved assurance scheme.

"Those who pay professional contractors to carry out the work must also ensure the company has the right credentials.

"The new legislation will affect a lot of people and they'll need to get their house in order in plenty of time. The deadline is set in stone and those who leave it too late could create serious problems for themselves."

The use of specialist poisons known as Anticoagulant Rodenticides (ARs) has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years after evidence of secondary poisoning.

The edible baits are used by pest control contractors, farmers, small holders and gamekeepers as the principal control measure for rodents throughout the UK. When used correctly, they offer quick and effective management of target species.

But Mr Forrester added: "The problem is the products are non-specific, which means that while they kill targeted pests, they can also kill other animals that prey on them.

"The toxin is passed down the food chain, which leads to secondary poisoning.

"The levels of ARs present in non-target species such as barn owls, kestrels and red kites has been increasing for a number of years and the authorities demanded corrective action."

The pest control industry has now set up a stewardship scheme, co-ordinated by the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use, to control and monitor the use of the products.

Mr Forrester said: "ARs will remain on the market if we use them properly, but the way they are used needs to change and the legislation is designed to ensure this happens."
Anyone using the products must hold a certificate of competence which proves they have received proper training and prove their knowledge is up to date, or be on a farm assurance scheme approved by CRRU.

Mr Forrester added: "For the first time, it will become an offence to buy or use these products without having the proper credentials in place.

"If someone is found to have done so, the fault will be their own as the ‘user' and their employer could also be held responsible.

"The legislation also applies to contractors, so farmers could still be liable to prosecution if they use an unqualified pest controller."

Farmers keen to continue their own pest management can earn the recognised qualification through the BPCA.

The leading trade body for the pest control industry can also put them in touch with pest control experts in their area.

Mr Forrester said: "Our membership criteria insists that every company or individual technician must already hold Level Two in Pest Management, the industry standard qualification.

"It means they are already experts in the field and qualified to apply all kinds of specialist pesticides, including SGARs. They must also take part in a recognised CPD scheme such as those organised by BASIS PROMPT.

"So people who use members of the BPCA have peace of mind that the job is being done both professionally and lawfully."


Highlights View all news

03 August 2020

Latest news

Engaging with pest control clients post-Covid-19

BUSINESS | PPC100 August 2020 You would have to be living in a cave for the last four months not to know that we are living in strange times. Chris Cagienard, director and field biolo

Read more

03 August 2020

Latest news

Meet the member: Rising star at Pest Solutions

YOUR ASSOCIATION | PPC100 August 2020 BPCA’s Communications Officer Kat Shaw spoke to Gabrielle Hogg, trainee pest technician with Pest Solutions. One of the industry’s br

Read more

09 July 2020

Latest news

BPCA helps put auditors straight on insecticide usage requirements for public health pest management

BPCA has had reports of auditors asking pest professionals for Pa1 Pa6 pesticide training certificates. The use of insecticides for public health pests does not require the user to have P

Read more
Latest View all news

10 August 2020

Latest news

New pesticide labels toolbox talk released for BPCA members

A new pesticide labels toolbox talk template, for BPCA members and their employees to use, has been uploaded to the Member Documents Area (login required). It is important that

Read more

06 August 2020

Latest news

Rodenticide resistance survey appeal to farmers

Rats resistant to rodenticides are breeding in the UK and more information from farmers is needed to reduce their numbers. A new survey will compile data to establish the extent to which r

Read more

06 August 2020

Latest news

VIDEO: Terms and conditions, contracts, force majeure and cancellations - BEB Consultancy

Learn about the importance of water-tight contracts, terms and conditions. In this video, BEB Consultancy will cover subjects like: What contracts and terms and conditions you need?

Read more