All rodenticide users encouraged to update knowledge bank
Farmers, gamekeepers and pest controllers are being encouraged to undertake knowledge updates to maintain their professional competence in the use of Stewardship-label rodenticides.
In its response to UK Rodenticide Stewardship’s 2017 annual report, the governmental panel that oversees the regime says continuing professional development (CPD) is particularly important.
It states that: “management of environmental risk relies on high levels of knowledge… in order to limit the potential for secondary poisoning of non-target species and other unintended exposure”.
Chairman of the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (the body that co-ordinates Stewardship implementation), Dr Alan Buckle, explains that obtaining a training-based certificate of competence or Stewardshipapproved farm assurance membership is not seen as a lifetime pass.
He confirms that the regime’s Training and Certification Work Group is currently drawing up CPD materials for all rodenticide user groups.
Other requirements in the governmental panel’s response paper include starting to monitor liver residues of rodenticides in red kite, as a sentinel of scavenging species, in addition to the barn owl that takes live prey.
The paper confirms the Stewardship regime is fit for purpose, and acknowledges new standards adopted by Stewardship-approved farm assurance schemes, the 2018 program of BASIS store audits, and supply of all requested monitoring data.
It also reaffirms that “government scrutiny will focus on the extent of any behavioural change among those operating in the sector and the measurable effect this has on residue levels in non-target animals. The government will fully evaluate the regime after five years of operation at the latest.” That deadline is in 2020.