Latest News from BPCA

27 July 2017

CRRU help gamekeepers with rodenticide stewardship best practice

To help gamekeepers control rats in line with the UK Rodenticide Stewardship Regime, an updated advisory booklet has been published by CRRU UK with input from BASC, GWCT, NGO and SGA. The Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) UK is responsible to the Health and Safety Executive for the regime's implementation.

Rat Control & Game Management (second edition) provides guidelines on the use of rodenticides under stewardship rules. It includes the latest information available from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology on UK exposure of barn owls to rodenticides. Barn owls are the regime's formally defined benchmark species for monitoring rodenticide levels is non-target wildlife.

The booklet introduces the CRRU UK Code of Best Practice and Environmental Risk Assessment procedures, which themselves are aligned with rodenticide stewardship requirements defined by a set of High Level Principles from HSE (hse.gov.uk/biocides/eu-bpr/rodenticides.htm).

In game and wildlife management, of course, rats cause severe problems and rodenticides are often used to control them. A side-effect is that rodenticide residues are found in other wildlife, including species of high conservation value such as barn owls, tawny owls, kestrels and red kites. By following the booklet's recommendations, gamekeepers are operating in line with stewardship rules, with minimum impact on wildlife and the environment. This will help forestall calls to restrict rodenticide use even further, keeping this important rat control method available to gamekeepers when necessary.

Dr Alan Buckle, CRRU UK Chairman

CRRU and the organisations associated with the revised booklet also run, in conjunction with BASIS, a practical training course entitled Rat Control for Gamekeepers. The new publication will become a key support document for that course, which has already been attended by more than 1,200 gamekeepers.

Download the document

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