Latest News from BPCA

01 March 2022

Pests in politics: Winter 2021-22

News | PPC106

With pest management under the spotlight, particularly regarding glue boards, BPCA has spent more time than ever monitoring what’s happening in the UK parliament and the devolved administrations.

PPC helps keep you firmly in the loop. 

Pests in politics winter 2021

Southwark pest control budget
Councillor Victor Chamberlain tweeted on 26 January, “proposed increases to pest control fees by up to 130% in Southwark’s draft 2022-23 budget are unfair to people on lower incomes.

Liberal Democrat members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee criticised the council on this yesterday”.

Scottish Gov invests £550,000 in pest solution
AgriLand reported on 30 November that the Scottish government invested £550K in a small device that counts weevils, and notifies foresters when the weevil population gets to critical levels, as a solution to pest management in forestry across the UK.

The device was designed by the engineering company and BPCA Member, Spotta.

Neonicotinoids and the impact on bees
A debate took place in Westminster Hall on Wednesday 2 February at 9.30am on Government approval for the use of neonicotinoids and the impact on bees. The debate was opened by Luke Pollard MP.

Animal Sentience Bill
On 8 December 2021, the Countryside Alliance described the Animal Sentience Bill as a “terrible piece of legislation” and a “bureaucratic nightmare”.

Pests in Scottish council houses
Scottish Liberal Democrats tweeted on 10 January 2022: “RT @scotlibdems: Figures show there were 16,203 pest control incidents in 2020 alone.

@willie_rennie said this huge number of council house tenants shouldn’t have to put up with this. Council budgets have faced the squeeze and had a dramatic impact on their ability to deal with these issues”.

Glue boards – Scotland

On 12 January 2022, Siobhian Brown asked the Scottish Government what it is doing to take forward the recommendations in the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission’s report on the use of rodent glue traps in Scotland, including the recommendation to ban such traps.

The Minister for Environment and Land Reform (Màiri McAllan) responded: “We have carefully considered the Scottish animal welfare commission’s findings, alongside all other relevant evidence, and I am pleased to announce today that we intend to end the cruel practice of setting glue traps.

"The commission’s report is clear that the use of glue traps relates to significant animal welfare issues, not only for rodents but for non-target species such as wild birds. Therefore, we will introduce legislation to ban glue traps in this parliamentary term."

Siobhian Brown, replied: “I welcome that news. Glue traps are one of the cruellest methods of rodent control. As well as banning the use of glue traps, will we also ban their sale?”

Màiri McAllan, said: “Our intention is to ban both the sale and the use of glue traps. However, implications arise from the United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020, which can undermine decisions that this Parliament makes, including in wholly devolved climate and environmental policy areas. We intend to work through those issues to achieve a ban”.

On 20 January 2022, the Scottish government announced plans to implement a total ban of rodent glue boards. BPCA will lobby for an exemption for pest professionals, similar to the Glue Traps (Offences) Bill in Westminster (probably through licensing).

On 19 January 2022, a committee of MPs gathered to scrutinise the Glue Traps (Offences) Bill line-by-line. The Bill passed the committee stage without amendment.

BPCA engaged with every MP on the committee with our concerns regarding sticky insect monitors, the definition of a pest controller and licensing arrangement. All these concerns were addressed by the committee of MPs.

Glue boards – England

On 4 February 2022, the Glue Traps (Offences) Bill went through its report stage in the Commons. Mark Tami MP tabled a few amendments, which were subsequently withdrawn. 

His amendments were around some of the language used and the potential for loopholes in the Bill. 

Jane Stevenson, the MP behind the private members Bill said in her response:

“The other points the right hon. Gentleman raises in the amendments give me the chance again to plead with the Minister to make the licensing enforcement regime watertight.

"I share the concern that people given licences should have to prove a very high level of competence in the ability to dispatch quickly and humanely any animal stuck on a glue trap. I thank the right hon. Gentleman again for his contributions”.

Mark Tami MP also raised his concerns about the availability of these traps on eBay and in other places. He wants to ensure they are not accessible even via the internet. 

Victoria Prentis, Minister for Farming, Fisheries and Food, noted that Defra will work with the industry on licensing. BPCA has written to her to reaffirm we’re ready to engage with the process and help make the scheme workable. 

The Bill is now progressing through the House of Lords. The first reading took place on 7 February. This stage is a formality that signals the start of the Bill's journey through the Lords. 

Second reading is yet to be scheduled.

From the EU

The EU has made a non-inclusion decision for active substance d-allethrin, which is used in some insecticides. Although we’re not sure on the timeline, the UK is likely to follow suit considering the lack of any divergence in chemical regulation yet post-Brexit. 

Dutch authorities have raised concerns about rodents pulling rodenticide out of secure bait stations and have requested data from the industry.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has just closed its consultation on alternatives to chemical rodent control.

In short, the agency is looking to find evidence that non-chemical alternatives are sufficiently effective enough to mean that they no longer need to reauthorise rodenticides. BPCA has contributed to the consultation on behalf of members.

Direct engagement
BPCA Executive Board member and Managing Director of Elite Pest Management, Mick Kilburn met with his local MP, Sir Edward Leigh to discuss his personal concerns about pest professionals losing access to their toolkit.

Remember, if you want to talk to your MP, BPCA can support the conversation. 

Source: PPC106

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