Rodent Control Rule Accountable to Pork Producers

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A final rule on chemicals used to control rodents will not be as burdensome on the livestock industry as initially proposed, according to the National Pork Producers Council, which worked to ease the impact of the regulation on pork producers.
calendar icon 30 May 2008
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week issued its “Risk Mitigation Decision for Ten Rodenticides,” which seeks to minimize children’s exposure to rodenticide products in the home and to reduce wildlife exposure to and ecological risks from rodenticides. EPA initially proposed that all second-generation rodenticides, which are lethal after a single ingestion of bait, be classified as “restricted use.” Such a classification would have required anyone wishing to use rodenticides to obtain a pesticide applicator’s license.

EPA found there was little risk of misuse of rodenticides by livestock producers, and under the final rule, producers will not need to obtain an applicator’s license. They will be limited to purchasing rodenticides in bulk – 8 pounds or more – from a farm store or directly from a manufacturer. The products, which will be labeled “For Agricultural Use Only,” must be used within 50 feet of an agricultural structure.

The final rule also allows livestock producers to use loose forms – pellets, meal, liquids – of bait indoors. Rodenticides used outdoors must be contained in bait stations, although the type of station is left to the discretion of the producer.

NPPC, in comments submitted earlier in the year, argued that EPA’s initial rule would have placed a tremendous burden on producers’ efforts to maintain effective biosecurity on their farms and that the costs of compliance far outweighed the risks of misuse of rodenticides.

“Working with EPA, NPPC was able to minimize the rodenticide rule’s challenges and costs for pork producers,” said NPPC President Bryan Black, a pork producer from Canal Winchester, Ohio. “It is extremely important that producers be able to easily obtain and use rodent-control products, which help protect our animals from disease and prevent destruction of equipment and feed.”

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