Gamekeepers are opposing a proposal to ban the use of all second generation anticoagulent rodenticides (SGARs) in the wider UK countryside.

Following concerns in the European Union about the risks of secondary poisoning of wildlife, the UK?s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says that products such as Bromadiolone and Difenacoum should be banned for all uses other than ?in and around buildings?.

However, the National Gamekeepers? Organisation (NGO) said that ?sound scientific evidence? necessary to justify such a move does not exist.

An NGO spokesman said: ?Official statistics show that less than three per cent of poisoning incidents in the UK result from the correct use of SGARs. There have been no incidents at all in the past three years.

?It is incorrect use that the HSE should be cracking down on, not legitimate use by keepers, farmers and others. ?More than 96 per cent of gamekeepers control rats. They do so to protect gamebirds and wildlife, to reduce thieving of feed put out for game and to prevent the spread of disease.

The rest of this article appears in the 14th November issue of Shooting Times.

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