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Senior Member

United Kingdom
288 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2007 :  15:03:56  Show Profile  Visit blatta's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Rat Burial is Back!
22 March 2007

A determined campaign by the National Gamekeepers' Organisation has been rewarded by Ministerial intervention.

Ben Bradshaw MP, the Minister for the Local Environment, has clarified in writing that a rat found dead as a result of using rodenticide can, in appropriate circumstances, be buried. This overturns a 2005 ruling that all such burying was illegal and that poisoned rats had either to be incinerated or rendered in approved waste management plants.

Ever since the 2005 ruling, the NGO has been lobbying Defra, the Environment Agency and the Advisory Committee on Pesticides, arguing that the new rules were inappropriate and counter-productive. The keepers said the rules could increase secondary poisoning of wildlife because people might just leave dead rats on the surface rather than meet the costly and disproportionate new requirements.

Now Ben Bradshaw has agreed, and in a letter sent to the Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Pesticides has set out an official Environemt Agency 'hierarchy' for rodent disposal. This allows burial by a gamekeeper or a farmer disposing of rat bodies resulting from routine rodent control.

"This is a very welcome clarification which will help wildlife as well as gamekeepers," said an NGO spokesman. "We would like to thank the Minister, the Environment Agency and the other organisations and individuals concerned for this encouraging outbreak of common sense."

I pulled this off the from the UKPCO Forum (link from the National Gamekeepers Organisation website). What are the implications now for Pest Control Companies? Does this apply to us too?



United Kingdom
772 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2007 :  18:24:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Please find below the text of the letter from Ben Bradshaw:

Nobel House
17 Smith Square
Telephone 08459 335577
Email Website

Professor Jon Ayres MD FRCP FRCPE Chairman, Advisory Committee on Pesticides clo Mrs Jayne Wilder
Room 203
Mallard House
3 Peasholme Green York Y01 7PX

Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs
Our ref P03236/T JB 2~ February 2006

From the Office of the Minister for Local Environment, Marine and Animal Welfare Ben Bradshaw MP

Dear Professor Ayres,

Than you for your letter in December concerning the impact of changes in waste management legislation on the exposure of wildlife to accidental poisoning by rodenticides.

The change to which you refer is the making of the Waste Management (England and Wales) Regulations 2006 which applied the normal controls on waste to agricultural waste. Such waste may include any vermin killed as part of normal farming operations and discarded. I note and share your concern that the legislation may work in such a way as to increase the exposure of wildlife to accidental poisoning by rodenticides. This is certainly not the objective of the change and at my request my officials have asked the Environment Agency to review their policy on the disposal of rodent bodies following treatment with rodenticides as waste.

The Agency, having undertaken the review, have now advised that their preferred hierarchy for disposal of individual or small numbers of poisoned vermin from routine baiting as waste so as to protect health and environment is as follows:

~ disposal via on farm small carcass incinerators (regulated under the Animal By-product Regulation);

~ removal along with other waste as part of the domestic waste collection round (subject to local authority agreement);

~ disposal off site at a suitably authorised incinerator or landfill; or where this is not possible,

~ the burial on site provided this is done away from sensitive areas and in line with the Code of Practice for the Protection of Water.

Disposal should take place without delay to prevent contact with other wildlife, a concern I am sure you will share.

The above applies to an individual farmer or gamekeeper disposing of carcasses from routine vermin control. Where a commercial rodent control firm is employed for vermin control or larger scale extermination the Agency would expect the firm to gather and remove carcasses for disposal off site at a suitably authorised incineration or landfill.

The Agency intend to adopt this as a modern waste regulatory position and issue guidance to assist farmers in this respect.
This should help to resolve the issues you raise in your letter and provides a practical way forward which reflects the better regulation principles that Defra and the Agency are keen to apply.
I am copying this letter to Lord McKenzie, who has now replaced Lord Hunt as Minister responsible for the HSE at the DWP.

With best wishes,


A copy of this letter was sent to those companies who are members of CRRU, the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use.

As you can see from the paragraph that I have highlighted in red, burial of rodent bodies does not seem to apply to commercial pest control companies.
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Senior Member

United Kingdom
288 Posts

Posted - 23 Apr 2007 :  08:44:18  Show Profile  Visit blatta's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks Iain

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Hyperactive Member

970 Posts

Posted - 23 Apr 2007 :  09:58:20  Show Profile  Visit Dusty's Homepage  Reply with Quote
So, a farmer could bait up around his muck heap or poultry farm, and kill a couple of hundred rats over a few days, and can dump them in a hole, but a pestie with a half dozen rat cadavers must have them professionally cremated. Is my thinking correct??

Don't feed them, get Rid of them - visit us on

Edited by - Dusty on 23 Apr 2007 09:59:32
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Senior Member

United Kingdom
288 Posts

Posted - 23 Apr 2007 :  10:13:27  Show Profile  Visit blatta's Homepage  Reply with Quote

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Hyperactive Member

United Kingdom
1524 Posts

Posted - 23 Apr 2007 :  10:26:17  Show Profile  Visit NickA's Homepage  Reply with Quote
James the NGO is very good at looking after its members interests, and will talk and ask questions.
Now it is up to our Associations to do the same.
NGO not a large organisation.

Pests are smart - We're smarter
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