Sector

11 November 2019

Where we've been: Planet Holyrood

Your association | PPC97 November 2019

On 18 September, BPCA held an event at the Scottish Parliament about the critical role played by pest management professionals in protecting public health and safety.

SPEAKERS:

  • Ratcatcher: the public perception/Welcome to the Scottish Parliament - Willie Rennie, MSP North East Fife, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats
  • What does a professional pest management company look like? - Ian Andrew, Chief Exec, BPCA
  • The European perspective: EN 16636 Standard for Pest Management - Henry Mott, President, CEPA
  • Professional pest management: organisational challenges - Ross Graham, Managing Director, Graham Environmental Services.

planet holyrood scottish parliament pest event4

In attendance was Willie Rennie MSP, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Mairi Gougeon MSP, Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment and members of the Housekeeping Association.

We filled the member room bar with people interested in finding out what we do.

Between networking, drinks and canapés, there were short informal speeches about pest management and public health, with plenty of questions throughout.

Most notably, people found it hard to believe that pest control is, for the most part, unregulated.

Sticky subjects, like glue boards, were talked through and gently debated. The Scottish Parliament could soon ban them altogether, although BPCA is working through the Pest Management Alliance (PMA) to keep them for professional use. 

Rodenticides were talked about frankly, without shying away from the environmental risks involved.

With proper training and competency, the risk to non-targets and secondary poison is very low.

But several people present asked if some sort of licencing would help make the sector safer.

The event promoted the professionals in our sector, particularly BPCA members who have a much higher standard for entry than the industry at large.

We’re still in a country where anyone with a Safe Use of Rodenticides certificate can buy professional products and call themselves a pest controller.

Ian Andrew, BPCA Chief Exec, said: “We started a lot of conversations in the members’ room that day, and we’re in the process of following those up.

"Ultimately, our job was to shout about the great work that our members do to protect public health. We asked MSPs to think carefully when something that could restrict our practice comes before them in the debating chamber.

“Thank you to everyone who came and supported our cause. As a sector, we need to get better at presenting ourselves to those in power and showing them that we’re an essential service provider protecting citizens from disease and injury.”

An eye for opportunity

Where should we take our campaign for recognition next? Send us your ideas or events! 

events@bpca.org.uk

Source: PPC97

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