To attain the Rodenticide Free achievement, farms must have not used any rodenticide on their farm for past 12 months.
Rodenticides are marketed as chemicals that kill rodents like rats and mice, however they are non-specific as most rodenticides contain an anticoagulant chemical that inhibits the animals blood clotting process and kill it from uncontrolled bleeding or haemorrhaging. They are classified as first generation, which means it takes multiple doses to kill the animal and second generation which can kill the animal in a single dose. Rodenticides help farms prevent feed loss from rats and mice eating, urinating and pooping on it, reduces damage to their buildings and equipment and can also be used to kill other animals, like foxes that target their flocks.
The major issue with rodenticides is that these anticoagulants affect birds, small and large mammals, reptiles, our pets and humans in the same way they affect rodents. These poisons not only kill the animal that consume the poison but can also kill the predator animal that eats the poisoned animal, this is called secondary poisoning. A 2018 study in Western Australia found “anticoagulant rodenticides in 72.6% of Southern Boobook owls found dead or moribund” and that these secondary effects have been “poorly studied in Australia”. More studies into secondary poison in America, Canada and Europe are finding similar results in their predator animals. Farmers must find alternative solutions to rodenticides like investing in better storage for their feed, provide habitat for native predators or set up traps without rodenticides so we can reduce the number of unintended poisonings.
By supporting farmers who are rodenticide free, we are supporting farmers who have invested in alternative solutions to using rodenticides and help our wildlife survive and reduce the cases of accidental poisoning.