The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has made changes to the legally binding instructions for rodenticide product labels, which will have significant implications for users in pest control, farming and gamekeeping.
HSE will now require that tamper-resistant bait stations must be:
- “Strong enough to prevent entry or destruction by dogs.”
- “Strong enough to prevent entry or destruction by children under six years of age using hands, feet or objects reasonably expected to be available in the use are (e.g., household objects, toys etc).”
- “Lockable or sealable so that children and dogs cannot gain access through the opening or through the mechanisms used to fill the bait compartments.”
- And for use ‘outdoors around buildings’: “Resistant to destruction or weakening from exposure to typical non-catastrophic weather (e.g., direct sunlight, extremes of temperature and humidity, rain, snow etc).”
According to the chairman of the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU), Dr Alan Buckle, the updated text will appear on labels from January onwards: “The changes are about users being responsible for bait stations being sufficiently robust rather than how, where or when they are used.”
“CRRU notes that neither HSE nor the European Commission before or after Brexit, has published guidance for testing that would allow manufacturers of tamper-resistant bait stations to demonstrate their compliance with these requirements,” Dr Buckle explained. “Moreover, there is currently no regulatory requirement to do so.”
The HSE conditions apply to both reusable bait stations sold separately from rodenticides and those supplied pre-filled as ready-to-use products. For bait stations sold empty, neither CRRU nor manufacturers of rodenticide products can exert any influence on the bait stations chosen by users. Neither can they vouch for the robustness of these stations.
CRRU’s position is that this a matter for purchasers, manufacturers and distributors of empty bait stations to ensure that new label conditions are met.
If in any doubt, CRRU advises that users consult either their supplier or bait station manufacturer for assurances that the bait station meets the product label’s requirements.