Wednesday, 29 July 2015

NEW COURSE ALLOWS GAMEKEEPERS TO KEEP USING RODENTICIDES


The SGA is pleased to announce it now has courses available for gamekeepers who wish to undertake the necessary training to enable them to use rodenticides under strict new guidelines.
Our first course - run jointly with GWCT - will be delivered by the SGA's Qualified Trainer and Committee Member, George Macdonald, and will be held on 21st September in Berwickshire (further details below).
We will be running further courses in future, based on numbers.
If you want to attend the course on 21st September, or would like a course on another date, please put your name down by contacting info@scottishgamekeepers.co.uk or mailing George Macdonald directly on georgemacdonald1@btinternet.com
We will notify of new course dates on our website, social media, digital newsletter and in the member magazine. Anyone who has a suitable location or venue for a course should get in touch so a course may be organised in their area. Please see media release below:


A new one-day course will allow gamekeepers to go on controlling rats using professional rodenticides after a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) deadline of 1 July 2016.
Representative bodies for shooting and gamekeeping have combined with the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) and with BASIS Registration Ltd (BASIS), to offer a new course, Rat Control for Gamekeepers, which will include the necessary certification for successful candidates to go on buying and using professional rodenticides when product authorisations change next year. 
After 1 July 2016, anyone without an appropriate certificate will be restricted to using amateur-pack rodenticides only, or will have to rely on traps, shooting and terriers - unless they have an alternative qualification for using Aluminium Phosphide gas.
The new rodenticide course, jointly owned by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), Countryside Alliance (CA), Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO), Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association (SGA) and CRRU, will be available from the end of August, giving gamekeepers eleven months in which to attend before the new restrictions come in. It is approved on behalf of the HSE and meets their requirements for best-practice ‘Stewardship’ to reduce the risk of rodenticide residues getting into non-target wildlife.
The one-day courses will be run by BASC, GWCT, the NGO and SGA. Members of any of those organisations, and of the CA, will be entitled to a special members’ cost price of £150 plus VAT, regardless of which organisation is delivering the actual course they attend. Non members will be charged £200 plus VAT wherever they attend. Both fees will cover the training itself, course literature, the exam and - if successful - the issue of a certificate for the purchase and use of professional rodenticides. 
The exam, a one hour multiple choice/true or false test, has been compiled and will be overseen by BASIS. It will either be taken on paper immediately after training finishes, or on-line later, depending on the course attended.
The first dates and venues for the new Rat Control for Gamekeepers course are now being arranged, with the following already available for booking direct with the organisations that are running them:
24 August 2015 Englefield Estate, Berkshire   (Organised by NGO)
1  September Stowell Park, Yarnworth, Gloucestershire (NGO)
15 September Fordingbridge, Hampshire (GWCT)
21 September      Longformacus, Berwickshire                (GWCT Scottish HQ / SGA)

12 October Loddington, Leicestershire (GWCT)

6   November Loddington, Leicestershire (GWCT)

Other courses will be arranged by BASC, GWCT, NGO and SGA in the weeks and months ahead and those interested should keep an eye on their membership publications and the organisations’ websites for details of courses near to them. Remember that you can go on a course run by any one of the training organisations and you will still get the discounted rate provided you are a member of one of the five gamekeeping sector co-owners, including the CA.
“We have worked together to make attending these courses as easy and economical as possible,” said Charles Nodder, adviser to the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation, who chaired the gamekeeping sector meetings that put the training together. 
“There is plenty of time for everyone to get qualified before the 1 July 2016 deadline. No-one likes extra bureaucracy but two years ago we were on the brink of losing rat bait altogether. Now we have an excellent course in best practice, put together by the shooting industry for its own people and fully approved on behalf of the HSE. 
“It will give gamekeepers a proof of competence for the use of professional-only anticoagulant rodenticides, both first and second generation products.” Charles went on to thank all the organisations, including CRRU, who had worked so effectively together to make the new course available. 
Glynn Evans, BASC’s Head of Game and Deer Management said: “As part of the stewardship process we have worked together to develop a course which will not only provide the necessary qualification to allow the continued purchase and use of these products but importantly it will help to reduce residues in non-target species, which is what led to calls for rat bait to be banned in the first place”
A spokesman for the Countryside Alliance commented: “The work of keepers is a vital part of countryside management. The Countryside Alliance is delighted that this course has been approved and will enable keepers to continue the responsible use of rodenticides, which are an essential tool.”

Some gamekeepers may already have undertaken training for rodenticide use that is compliant with the new rules. Others may prefer to qualify themselves via alternative courses, although Rat Control for Gamekeepers is recommended as the only course specifically developed for the gamekeepers’ needs. A full list of past qualifications that will be valid, and all new courses available, is on the CRRU website (under Press Releases) at http://www.thinkwildlife.org/crru-approved-certifications-for-purchase-and-use-of-professional-rodenticide-products/.