Rodent control on farms

The agricultural industry buys about 60% of all rodenticide products, making it the UKs biggest user. Actual rodenticide use in farming could be even higher because professional pest controllers are also used.

Most rodenticides are anticoagulants. These are effective but carry a high risk of primary and secondary poisoning of non-target animals (such as barn owls).

Anticoagulants are subject to the Biocidal Product Regulations, yet they fail risk assessments for environmental reasons. The HSE recognise there isn’t an effective substitute and restriction would cause other issues, such as risks to human health. The HSE asked the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) to show how people can manage risks.

Best practice principles for rodenticide use

The CRRU launched the UK Rodenticide Stewardship Regime in 2015. Stakeholders involved in the scheme include professional pest controllers, gamekeepers and agriculture.

The regime sets out best practice principles for rodenticide use.

Download the CRRU Code of Best Practice

Extent of the UK Rodenticide Stewardship Regime

The regime covers bait rodenticide used outside by professionals around buildings or in open areas. It aims to show effective and responsible use, which curbs the impact on the environment and secondary poisoning.

The aim of the code is to ensure that all users of professional rodenticide baits follow the CRRU Code of Best Practice. The code also works with farm assurance schemes to bring standards into alignment with the CRRU UK Code of Best Practice.

Proof of competence in rodenticide use can take two forms:

  • Certificate of training in rodenticide use
  • Evidence of specified farm assurance membership

Training and farm assurance schemes

For more information on CRRU approved training courses:

A list of CRRU approved farm assurance schemes: