18 August 2015

Essential rat control for Scottish gamekeepers course

Brown ratFrom July 2016, anyone without the proper certificate, or who does not have an alternative qualification for using aluminium phosphide gas, will be restricted to using ‘amateur-pack’ rodenticides, or reliance on traps, shooting and terriers for the control of rats.

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) and the Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) will be jointly staging two Rat Control for Gamekeepers courses in September to allow their members to become fully qualified.

The course, which is jointly owned by GWCT, SGA, the Countryside Alliance, the National Gamekeepers Organisation (NGO), the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) comes on stream at the end of this month. The course has been approved by the HSE.

The two Scottish dates are Monday 21 September at Horseupcleugh, Longformacus, Berwickshire, and Wednesday 23 September at Abercorn Church Hall, Hopetoun Estate, West Lothian. The courses are classroom-based and include a one-hour-long multiple-choice exam that must be taken online during a two-week period after the course.

Hugo Straker of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust says:

“We are urging all our members who may require rodenticide training to get qualified quickly. Whilst there is an 11-month window to do this, and although these will not be the only two courses that are being run in Scotland, we do expect uptake of places to be swift. The course has been put together by those directly involved in the sector for the sector and having this qualification will be an essential part of every gamekeepers skill set. Successful candidates will be able to look forward to using second generation anticoagulant rodenticides in open areas as part of their integrated approach for enhancing biodiversity, the conservation of ground-nesting birds, food security and of course human health.”

George Macdonald, of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association, says:

“This training is a must for all gamekeepers and others, whether members or not. The sooner people gain this qualification the better, for obvious compliance reasons, but also to show that continued professional development is ongoing; that we are a responsible industry and continue to maintain the professional approach to safeguarding human health, conservation of species, food and biodiversity.”

The course cost for members of the owning organisations is £150.00 plus VAT, discounted from the £200 plus VAT for non members, and includes course literature, training, the examination, and certificate allowing the purchase and use of professional rodenticides.

For more information and for those wishing to attend one of the GWCT/SGA joint September courses contact:

Lynda Ferguson
Telephone: 01425 651013
lferguson@gwct.org.uk


Notes to editors

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust is an independent wildlife conservation charity which carries out scientific research into Britain’s game and wildlife. We advise farmers and landowners on improving wildlife habitats. We employ 22 post-doctoral scientists and 50 other research staff with expertise in areas such as birds, insects, mammals, farming, fish and statistics. We undertake our own research as well as projects funded by contract and grant-aid from Government and private bodies. The Trust is also responsible for a number of Government Biodiversity Action Plan species and is lead partner for grey partridge and joint lead partner for brown hare and black grouse.

For information, contact:

Playfair Walker
Telephone: 0131 445 5570
Email: richard@playfairwalker.com

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