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Impact of Changes in Governance for Rodenticide Use on Non-Target Exposure in Red Foxes (Vulpes Vulpes)

12 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2023 Publication Status: Accepted

See all articles by Steve Campbell

Steve Campbell

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture

Sheila George

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture

Elizabeth Sharp

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture

Anna Giela

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture

Laura Melton

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture

Claire Senior

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture

Fabio Casali

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture

Marta Giergiel

National Veterinary Research Institute

Devanshi Vyas

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture

Megan Galloway

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture

Louise Mocogni

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture

Abstract

Wildlife is at risk of exposure to rodenticides used in pest management. An industry-led stewardship scheme introduced new rules on use and sale of products across the UK in 2016, with the aim of reducing this risk. To determine if the scheme had achieved this, exposure to second generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) was measured in foxes.  Liver samples from 406 foxes collected between 2011 and 2022 were analysed and the percentage presence and concentrations of SGARs, where present, from pre-stewardship and post-stewardship samples were compared. There was no statistically significant change in the percentage of foxes exposed to bromadiolone, difenacoum or summed SGAR residues after the introduction of stewardship. The percentage of foxes exposed to brodifacoum increased significantly post-stewardship, from 18% to 43%. There were no significant changes in the concentrations of either summed or individual SGARs post-stewardship. However, variation was such that there may have been some unexplained differences in the data.These findings suggest that the industry-led stewardship scheme has not yet had the intended impact of reducing SGAR contamination in non-target wildlife, and they highlight a substantial increase in foxes encountering brodifacoum, together with weak statistical evidence of an increase in the percentage of foxes exposed to multiple SGARs.

Keywords: Rodenticides, Wildlife, contamination, foxes, Poisoning, best practice, SGAR

Suggested Citation

Campbell, Steve and George, Sheila and Sharp, Elizabeth and Giela, Anna and Melton, Laura and Senior, Claire and Casali, Fabio and Giergiel, Marta and Vyas, Devanshi and Galloway, Megan and Mocogni, Louise, Impact of Changes in Governance for Rodenticide Use on Non-Target Exposure in Red Foxes (Vulpes Vulpes). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4644229 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4644229

Steve Campbell (Contact Author)

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture ( email )

Sheila George

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture ( email )

Elizabeth Sharp

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture ( email )

Anna Giela

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture ( email )

Laura Melton

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture ( email )

Claire Senior

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture ( email )

Fabio Casali

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture ( email )

Marta Giergiel

National Veterinary Research Institute ( email )

Devanshi Vyas

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture ( email )

Megan Galloway

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture ( email )

Louise Mocogni

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture ( email )

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