Anticoagulant rodenticides fail conventional regulatory risk assessments. Residues are found in a wide variety of wildlife species and they are occasionally responsible for deaths of non-target animals. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), as the UK Competent Authority for biocides, requires reassurance that products containing these substances can be used without unacceptable risk to wildlife and other non-target species.
The regime was launched in July 2015 and encompasses all rodenticide products sold to and used by professionals when applied outside buildings. It does not involve rodenticides restricted to use indoors, nor fumigant gases which are the responsibility of the Register of Accredited Metallic Phosphide Standards (RAMPS) (http://www.ramps-uk.org/). It also does not involve rodenticide products sold to and used by amateurs.
Rodenticides will be authorised for professional use in three main areas (for definitions of these use patterns refer to the CRRU UK Code of Best Practice available here):
‘Indoors’. Products authorised ONLY for use indoors are not currently required to conform to ‘stewardship conditions’.
‘In and around buildings’. This use includes an ‘outdoor’ element and therefore all professional products authorised for this use will be subjected to ‘stewardship conditions’.
‘Open areas’. This use pattern involves only ‘outdoor’ use and all professional products authorised for this use will be subject to ‘stewardship conditions’. It is generally considered that this use pattern carries with it the greatest risk of accidental exposure to wildlife.
HSE has an option to introduce more stringent regulation if deemed necessary because the effects of stewardship in reducing exposure of non-target organisms are found to be insufficient. These may involve further restrictions on who can use professional rodenticides and where they can be applied.