New Restrictions for Commercial Class Rodenticides in Agricultural Settings

CANADA - As of January 1, 2013, use restrictions for several commercial class rodenticides registered for the control of Norway rats, roof rats and house mice will come into effect on product labels. The intent is to prevent the accidental exposure of children and non-target animals.
calendar icon 8 January 2013
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By: Banrie

These restrictions apply to products registered for use in and around buildings or structures. Use of rodenticides in areas such as fields, crop land, orchards, landfills (garbage dumps) and nurseries is unchanged unless these areas are open to the public, or bait is accessible to pets or livestock.

The major new requirements are as follows:

  • Bait must either be placed in tamper-resistant bait stations or in locations not accessible to children, pets, livestock and non-target wildlife
  • Outdoor, above-ground placement of rodenticides must be contained in tamper-resistant bait stations (placing baits in feed bales without bait stations will still be permitted)
  • Residential and/or outdoor uses of rodenticides containing certain active ingredients and concentrate products (diluted by the user into solid or liquid bait) are now prohibited

How do these restrictions impact rodenticide use for a residence in or near a farm yard?

Farm yards can include different types of buildings or structures, including residential buildings. A house in or near a farm yard is considered a residential setting. Residential settings may require different pest control product choices and the use of a tamper-resistant bait station in areas that are accessible to children.

What locations would reasonably be considered not accessible, (‘out-of-reach’) of children and non-target animals, where the use of a bait station would not be required?

When in doubt - for example, if access by children and non-target animals would be infrequent but still possible - bait stations should be used.

The following are examples of locations that would typically be considered ‘out-of-reach’:

  • slotted floor ‘gaps’
  • burrows
  • between walls
  • inside a feed bale or stack

Why is Health Canada placing these restrictions on the use of rodenticides?

These additional protective measures are part of an overall strategy to reduce risk related to the use of several rodenticides containing the following active ingredients: brodifacoum, bromadiolone, bromethalin, chlorophacinone, difethialone, diphacinone, zinc phosphide, and warfarin.

These measures are the result of a science-based evaluation of potential risks to human health and the environment as well as the value (i.e., contribution to pest management) of the product. Reports of incidental exposure from Canada and the United States were considered in the evaluation, given the similar use patterns for these products in the two countries.

While the value assessment considers the impacts for users (e.g., cost of implementation) of proposed risk mitigation strategies, this is balanced with the potential impact to human health and the environment.

Public consultation on the proposed additional restrictions included notifying the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Committee on Pest Management and Pesticides of the upcoming regulatory decision, engaging stakeholders in meetings, visits to regions and ongoing work with regional officers. Consultations took place in 2007 (published document REV2007-04) and in 2009 (published document REV2009-05).

Comments received from these consultations were considered prior to publication of the final decision document (REV2010-17). All decision documents are available on Health Canada’s website.

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