Sector

17 June 2020

University of Reading's Vertebrate Pests Unit to close due to Covid-19

Rodenticide resistance testing is set to end at the University of Reading, as Covid-19 sees the institution make the tough financial decision to close its Vertebrate Pests Unit (VPU).

university-of-reading-vertebrate-pest-unit-closed2

The announcement also means that two research officers at the VPU, Montse Talavera and Clare Jones, will be leaving the University.

Clare expressed their gratitude to participants, saying: “We both want to thank you for your enthusiasm and participation in the project. Without your help we would not have been able to collect so many tail samples and fill in so many of the gaps on the maps. We truly appreciate the hard work of everyone involved.”

The Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) and the Rodenticide Resistance Action Committee (RRAC), which have been funding the University's research, are in the process of finding alternative laboratories to continue this important work.

Clare added: “If you have tail samples stored in the freezer please listen out for future announcements by these two groups. It is essential that the mapping of resistance mutations continues for both the effective management of rodents and for the environment as a whole.”

BPCA Chief Executive Ian Andrew commented: "We're disappointed to hear that the decision has been taken to close the Vertebrate Pests Unit and we want to thank the research team wholeheartedly for the work they've done to identify resistance patterns in rodents. It's provided crucial data to ensure that pest management professionals can work efficiently and effectively to protect public health."

All of the VPU’s results will be uploaded onto the RRAC online resistance maps

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Source: Online

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