Stricter controls for phosphide poisons

David Cross, chairman of Register of Accredited Metallic Phosphide Standards (RAMPS UK).

David Cross, chairman of Register of Accredited Metallic Phosphide Standards (RAMPS UK). - Credit: Submitted

Moves to tighten up the supply of specialist pesticides will help the farming industry ensure pest control methods are legal and effective, according to regulators.

The BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection (Aluminium Phosphide for Vertebrate Control) will lead to credentials that will soon become a legal requirement for people who sell toxic metallic phosphide poison – used to control rabbits, rats and moles in their burrows.

Its introduction is the latest part of an industry drive for better stewardship of the products overseen by the Register of Accredited Metallic Phosphide Standards (RAMPS UK).

David Cross, chairman of RAMPS UK, says end users, including farmers, will gain most in the long term.

He said: 'New legislation means anyone using metallic phosphides must soon have a recognised certificate of competence in place.


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'But sellers and suppliers will also be obliged to hold certain qualifications and manufacturers will refuse to distribute the products to those who don't.

'So this new course is part of our 'top-down' approach that will tighten up the whole supply chain.

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'Many farmers rely on their suppliers to provide the right products and the most up-to-date information. This qualification will enable those suppliers to demonstrate their expertise.'

Suppliers aiming to meet the November 26 deadline have so far been obliged to gain the full BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection – a broader qualification covering all types of pesticide.

Mr Cross said they could now opt to take a stand-alone module specifically covering the use of phosphides – toxic fumigants used to control a wide range of vertebrates which can infest stored food.

He added: 'The new course is very specific and is only intended for those who'll sell or give advice on the use of metallic phosphides for the control of vertebrate pests.'

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