Dramatic drop in allegations of rogue rodenticide supply, however…
Watertight point-of-sale controls? Or loss of interest among tip-off sources?
In the past year, only one suspected point-of-sale non-compliance case has been reported to the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use. There were 62 such alerts in the three years to November 2020.
What cannot be determined, explains head of CRRU point-of-sale work group and Killgerm MD Rupert Broome, is whether this “dramatically lower occurrence is because the stewardship regime’s point-of-sale processes are now watertight, or the sector’s concerned sources have lost interest.
“Clearly, it is critical for the regime’s success that rodenticides don’t get into unqualified hands,” Mr Broome adds. “In case loss of interest does apply, I urge all responsible individuals – whether in pest control, farming or gamekeeping – to maintain their vigilance and help stamp out illegal supply.”
The notification of failure to comply with either mandatory point-of-sale checks or broader requirements of the UK Rodenticide Stewardship Regime can be made via an on-line tool at thinkwildlife.org/stewardship-regime/report-a-concern/.
Of the past three years’ 62 alerts, 59 were unique cases. The other three were replicas of an existing allegation from a different source. Among the 59, there were 54 about internet sales, of which 27 resulted in the listing being removed, and one instance of the website being taken down. Six more involved clearer description to become compliant, and another six were apparently illegal sales of rodenticide, then reported by CRRU to HSE. There were 11 (19%) not upheld and a remainder of miscellaneous one-offs.
Alerts with sufficient information to merit investigation are passed by CRRU to the company(ies) whose products are alleged to be involved. They investigate, take appropriate action and report the outcome to CRRU. The source of each alert remains anonymous throughout.
The importance of point-of-sale control cannot be over emphasized, according to Rupert Broome. “For rodenticide stewardship to be judged effective by the regime’s HSE-led government oversight group, lasting reductions in rodenticide residues carried by non-target wildlife are expected,” he says.
“Without such evidence, we might anticipate further restrictions on how rodenticides can be used, and by whom. Clearly, responsibility is squarely in users’ own hands.”