Farmers will get the green light to continue using a popular anticoagulant rat bait, difenacoum, following a European Commission review of all rodenticides.

rat academy plug 

Proposals had been made by some member states to restrict use of rat baits to professional pest controllers, says Alan Buckle, chairman of the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use. “But the industry persuaded the Commission that this was unnecessary and impractical, and products will be approved for all use groups, including farmers, professional users and households.”

A second proposal by some member states, that baits should be applied only in purpose-made, tamper-resistant bait stations, was also rejected, with the industry successfully making the point that tamper-resistant bait stations were not always needed if baits could be made safe from non-targets in other ways, says Prof Buckle.

Decisions on other rat bait active ingredients, including bromadiolone, brodifacoum, flocoumafen, warfarin, coumatetralyl and chlorophacinone, are expected in the coming months.

However, the Commission has issued a number of guidelines for the safe use of rodenticides, which are similar to those put out by the CRRU. “The activities of CRRU were noted by the Commission and provided confidence that anticoagulants can be used safely without unacceptable risk to wildlife,” says Prof Buckle.

Rat bait good practice code 

  • Always have a planned approach
  • Always record quantity of bait and where it is placed
  • Always use enough baiting points
  • Always collect and dispose of rodent bodies
  • Never leave bait exposed to non-target animals and birds
  • Never fail to inspect bait regularly
  • Never leave bait down at the end of the treatment