Just when farmers are getting the hang of rodenticide stewardship rules, introduced mid-2016, a new study by Reading University confirms that rats in some parts of the country are resistant to some of the most widely-used poison baits.
The report states that the study “shows the massive extent of L120Q resistance across the whole of central southern England.” Co-author Dr Colin Prescott explains that L120Q is the most severe form of resistance identified to date, effective against first generation anticoagulant rodenticides and one or more of the second generation group.
“Moreover, this doesn’t mean the rest of the UK can relax, because lack of sample availability means we just don’t have the data,” he says. “Another concern is that most rats with L120Q resistance carry the gene from both parents. Where this occurs, it suggests most or even all rats with some susceptibility have been eradicated by widespread use of resisted rodenticides, leaving a population of resistant pure-breds.”
The report was commissioned by the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) under its stewardship regime remit to an HSE-led Government Oversight Group (GOG).
CRRU chairman Dr Alan Buckle says the difficulty for farmers, of course, is knowing the resistance status of rats on their own units.
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