Anticoagulant rodenticides and biocides legislation
The UK has left the EU, new rules from January 2021
The transition period after Brexit comes to an end this year.
This page explains how the most well used rodenticides (chemicals used to control rodents such as rats and mice) are affected by the EU Biocidal Products Regulations (BPR). It is intended to help suppliers wishing to market these products in the UK, and people who use them, such as pest controllers.
For details of rodenticide products currently authorised in the UK see the UK Authorised Rodenticide Product Database.
Rodents can carry diseases that can harm people, cause damage to buildings and spoil foodstuffs; rodenticides are one of the methods of controlling rodents. However, there can also be potential risks to people and the environment from the use of anticoagulant rodenticide products. HSE is seeking to establish a transparent and consistent approach for applying risk mitigation measures when First and Second Generation Anticoagulant Rodenticides (FGARs and SGARs) are authorised in the UK. This should take into account the need to control rat and mouse infestations, and protect buildings and infrastructure while protecting humans and non-target wildlife from exposure to FGARs and SGARs.
Professional use products and UK stewardship
Regulatory risk assessments have concluded that the use of First and Second Generation Anticoagulant Rodenticides (FGARs and SGARs) present a higher level of risk to humans and non-target animals (such as predatory birds and mammals) than would normally be considered acceptable. However HSE recognises that, despite carrying these risks, the use of FGARs and SGARs is sometimes necessary as part of properly managed rodent control strategies.
In order to be able to authorise these rodenticides for use indoors or outdoors, HSE must be assured that the risks arising from such use will be properly managed. The UK Government Oversight Group has set out a number of high-level principles to help industry develop stewardship schemes to assure that rodenticides are being used in a safe and sustainable way. Suppliers placing rodenticide products on the UK market for professional use will now be required to demonstrate that they adhere to the UK Government high level principles.
High-level principles for Rodenticide Regime(s)
The UK’s Rodenticide Stewardship Regime is built on:
- using Integrated Pest Management, including use of rodenticides, involving a hierarchy of risk controls for rodents
- using rodenticides responsibly, when demonstrated they are needed, because of their potential threat to human, animal health and the environment
- being applicable to all suppliers, handlers and professional users of rodenticides approved under stewardship to address these risks
- being robust, effective and workable, while remaining as simple as possible
- covering the whole life-cycle of the rodenticide products: manufacture, supply chain, end-use, disposal and environmental fate
- enabling good practice in the control of rodent populations as part of an integrated pest management system, while minimising resistance build-up and secondary poisoning in non-target species
Delivering key benefits such as:
- governance of the supply chain, which gives governance over and provides the driver for later stages
- a competent workforce capable of delivering stewardship standards and of demonstrating an appropriate understanding and attitude toward case-specific control of rodents and use of rodenticides
- monitoring compliance with the regime and its environmental impacts, and if possible of the level of conflict reduction – ie an assessment of whether rodenticides and stewardship together are actually tackling the problems
The Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use, has developed a stewardship scheme that adheres to the high level principles. The scheme will assist businesses provide robust assurance that the continued use of their FGARs and SGARs products will be based on a hierarchy of risk controls for rodents, promoting responsible use and good practice by all suppliers and professional users.
- The BPC opinions for the anticoagulant active substances are available on the ECHA website.
- For existing products information required under section 2 of the renewal process should be submitted by authorisation holders using R4BP by February 2017.
In 2012 stakeholders commented on a number of UK proposals for managing risk to the environment and human health, including possible restrictions on the outdoor use of SGARs:
A summary of the stakeholder responses is provided.
Rodenticide products marketed in the UK and the rest of the EU are considered to be either biocides (under Product Type 14) or plant protection products, depending on where and how they are used. Guidance on the borderline between the two regulatory schemes is provided on the European Commission’s website.