Gamekeepers and shooting and conservation organisations were shocked to hear that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will restrict the use of difenacoum rodenticides and bromadialone-based vermin baits.
The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO) has said that as many as three-quarters of all gamekeepers use these rodenticides, as well as farmers and pest controllers. The rodenticides were the only two still allowed to be used in open areas, massively restricting people’s means of managing vermin numbers.
Though the HSE has yet to complete its review of the risks posed by these compounds, it has already changed the labelling to reflect that the products can only be used “in and around buildings”.
The NGO has said that this is a “devastating” ban on a pest control method that has no similarly effective alternatives. Writing to Defra minister Lord de Mauley, NGO chairman Lindsay Waddell explained: “Rat control in open areas will be seriously compromised, with significant adverse impacts on the food and farming industries, the environment, wildlife and not least public health.”
As Gun Trade News went to press, news emerged that bracken control agent Asulam was being reapproved for use on an emergency basis, having been banned effective from 1 January.