Food prices and public health at risk from ‘ill-thought-out’ pest control legislation

Food prices and public health at risk from ‘ill-thought-out’ pest control legislation

A national trade body says public health across England is under threat from pests due to an ‘ill thought out’ licensing scheme being pushed forward by Government.

British Pest Control Association says that plans to license the use of glue boards in the country will have a devastating impact on food security, public health and vulnerable members of society.

BPCA, which represents the UK pest management industry and promotes high standards of professionalism to safeguard environmental and public health, has raised its concerns in a letter to Steve Barclay MP, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

It is asking for a delay on the implementation of the licensing scheme, to engage with the professional pest management community, and protect public health.

Ian Andrew, Chief Executive of the not-for-profit organisation said: “This is an ill-thought-out licensing scheme, which will cause disease, distress and business closures.

“Many businesses, such as supermarkets, restaurants, takeaways and accommodations, will be completely excluded from consideration for a licence.

“Allowing glue boards to be used in food production sites shows an understanding that they are essential to public health, but whether that site distributes nationally should not be the deciding factor in whether glue boards can be used.

“The risk of rodent infestation and its impact on public health does not diminish once food leaves a production facility.

“Those risks are still present as food moves through the supply chain.

“We cannot see how a small local food production business deserves any less protection than a large national company.

“They will need to gain advance registration, but the requirement for this is lengthy and challenging and that makes it simply impractical in most situations to deliver effective pest control.

“Ministers have indicated that individual licences would likely take 15 days to be granted.

“This will not only lead to lengthy closures for businesses or dangerous conditions for consumers, but a bill of around £2,500 for each deployment of glue boards when they are eventually permitted.

“Glue boards are already tools of last resort when all else has failed. This scheme means that businesses will close, food safety standards will fall, and food prices will rise.” 

BPCA has also voiced concern over a lack of provision for glue board treatments in homes, even in the most dangerous situations, which it says will lead to many of the most vulnerable people in England being forced to live alongside severe rodent infestations for weeks while other methods of control begin to work.

Mr Andrew added: “While we welcome a practicable licensing scheme for pest professionals, what has been proposed, with limited consultation and only six weeks before implementation, has glaring faults, assumptions and omissions.

“These plans put the welfare of rats and mice above human health and safety.”

A copy of the letter from Ian Andrew to The Rt Hon Steve Barclay MP can be viewed at:

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