New accredited rat control expertise available to rural enterprises

The pest control industry can now offer farmers and other rural clients a choice of 36 certified Wildlife Aware technicians who in 2010 undertook Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) training with BASIS accreditation. In addition, more than 200 pest control firms signified their support for the campaign’s aims and principles by joining the CRRU Supporters Club last year, according to chairman Dr Alan Buckle.

“Farming and other rural enterprises need to be acutely conscious that their rodent control practices and the future availability of modern rodenticides are under review in connection with the European Parliament’s new Biocidal Products Regulation,” he explains. “This is due to be finalised this year and potential wildlife impacts are a major concern.”

When the new regulation is in force, he suggests that it could have a significant effect on the availability and use of rodenticide products to rural businesses.

“If we want to avoid having unworkable restrictions imposed on us by the EU, we have to get a grip on the situation ourselves,” Dr Buckle urges. “Farmers, estate and countryside managers, game-keepers and rural pest controllers all share a major responsibility to use rodenticides responsibly and effectively, with no unacceptable impacts on wildlife and the wider environment as a result. If this does not happen, we could find ourselves heavily restricted in what we can do, possibly to the detriment of effective rodent control.”

For 2011, CRRU aims to more than double the number of Wildlife Aware accredited pest controllers. Its purpose is to combine maximum efficacy in rat control with minimum risk of rodenticide exposure to non-target species, in an integrated and recognised qualification. Two courses have already taken place in 2011 and two more are running on Tuesday 10 May and Wednesday 7 September in west Yorkshire. The syllabus is available at

www.basis-reg.co.uk/media/documents/SYLL_WILDLIFE_AWARE_SYLLABUS.pdf

and enquiries can be made via the CRRU website (www.thinkwildlife.org.uk).

To support accredited technicians and members of its supporters club, CRRU is publicising the benefits of employing them to farmers, estate managers and game-keepers. Lists of Wildlife Aware technicians and CRRU Supporters Club members are available on the BASIS and CRRU websites: (Wildlife Aware technicians and CRRU Supporters).