Sector

23 August 2021

Opinion: Glue board ban and the failure to self-regulate

OPINION | PPC104 AUGUST 2021

Losing something from our toolkit never feels great, but what are the ramifications for the sector? Henry Mott is MD of BPCA member company Conquer Pest Control and the former president of CEPA.

He takes a step back to look at the ramifications of the Glue Traps (Offences) Bill.

glue-board-ban-failure-to-self-regulate

The recent press on the use of sticky boards in managing rodent pests is merely a symptom of a fundamental problem in our industry.

Whether you consider banning this pest management tool as a good or bad idea based on personal preferences, is a mistake and a complete misunderstanding of the direction of travel in general.

Self-regulation has been the strategy behind the professional pest management industry to maintain access to as much of the toolbox as possible.

Should it not be us as pest management professional industry stakeholders to decide on what tools are needed and how they should be used?

Or should we leave it to the self-appointed lobbyists and activists? Those who’ve never operated in our industry or been responsible for protecting the public at large from the damage and disease pest’s cause?

It has, however, become evident that this laudable strategy is failing catastrophically.

We will find ourselves increasingly faced with direct legislation such as the removal of sticky boards being proposed.

It’ll be driven via the immensely powerful green agenda lobbyists that will erode almost every tool at our disposal to control pests and therefore our fundamental ability to protect human health and property.

The continuing failure of our industry to self-regulate effectively is the responsibility of all stakeholders. Given the serious nature of the risk to our industry, you’d imagine that:

Professional pest managers would embrace the introduction of much higher mandatory levels of qualifications (academic and practical) with far more regular and stringent testing and auditing and even licenses to remove the ‘cowboy’ element once and for all (as has much of mainland Europe).

UK manufacturers and distributors would welcome a more stringently controlled UK biocide user market into which to sell their products.

The continuing failure of our industry to self-regulate effectively is the responsibility of all stakeholders.

Henry Mott, MD, Conquer Pest Control

This would therefore assist in preventing products being misused by poorly or inadequately trained persons, helping to protect their image and reputation by reducing any risk of damage to the environment.

End users would be far more thorough in vetting prospective suppliers and conduct greater due diligence into who they allow onto their sites, fully recognising and valuing the importance of official accreditations, formal training levelsCPD etc.

National associations, and any other relevant accreditation/audit bodies, would ensure anyone practising pest management that comes under their jurisdiction abides by agreed industry codes of best practice.

In the event that they discover failures, they must be ruthless in either removing any members that breach them or reporting them to an appropriate organisation for action to be taken.

Sadly, in the last 26 years that I have been involved directly in the industry, I see little evidence to suggest that anything more than lip service is being applied to much of the above.

You don’t need to be Einstein to understand that to achieve this requires financial investment and risks a potential loss of revenue.

We need the strength of will from industry leaders, and an honest appraisal of the situation, to make this happen. We can’t keep kicking the can down the road and taking positions that benefit ourselves in the short term.

If we’re ever to make headway, all four (intrinsically linked) stakeholders need to pull in the same direction.

If we fail to do this we’ll continue to remain at the whim of influential individuals and bodies that don’t have our best interests at heart, and would happily see the industry disappear.

Henry Mott, MD, Conquer Pest Control

If we fail to do this we’ll continue to remain at the whim of influential individuals and bodies that don’t have our best interests at heart, and would happily see the industry disappear.

I can only hope that either a new generation of industry leaders comes along and adopts a more pragmatic approach to this task or that the old guard accept their mistakes and do something about it to ensure we can continue to protect public health effectively.

Reply from the Editor

There’s nothing particularly fast about self-regulation. Change needs to be sustainable, and the whole professional industry needs to follow where others lead.

Remember, for BPCA (or any other membership organisation) to investigate a complaint based on poor practice, you need evidence.

This includes the who, what, where and when of what occurred. It doesn’t take much to snap some photos on your phone and write a short report.

It can then be followed up appropriately. BPCA has a Professional Standards Committee of members that is responsible for complaints.

Remember, a trade association has no powers to investigate a non-member and isn’t an enforcement agency. 

What do you think?

Would you invest in higher qualification and accreditation standards to protect your toolkit? Let us know your thoughts.

hello@bpca.org.uk

Source: PPC104

Highlights View all news

14 September 2021

Latest news

2021 National Pest Awards winners announced

BPCA members take home almost every prize at the National Pest Awards on 9 September 2021.

Read more

03 August 2021

Latest news

Let’s keep glue boards for professionals, says BPCA

BPCA has begun its lobbying effort to keep rodent glue boards in the toolkits of pest professionals.

Read more

29 June 2021

Latest news

BPCA secures funding for 3D interactive simulator

BPCA applied for funding from the Ufi VocTech Trust to support the development of an interactive 3D competency simulator for pest technicians.

Read more
Latest View all news

16 September 2021

Latest news

HSE ventilation advice for returning office workers

Fresh air supply is key to a safe working environment, as pandemic continues, says Health and Safety Executive.

Read more

16 September 2021

Latest news

New pest consultancy launched in UK

PestAcuity is a new independent pest control consultancy founded by well-known industry figure Grahame Turner.

Read more

14 September 2021

Latest news

2021 National Pest Awards winners announced

BPCA members take home almost every prize at the National Pest Awards on 9 September 2021.

Read more