RAT POISON IS WILDLIFE POISON
The Barn Owl Project have decided to start a petition to highlight the problems facing wildlife in Ireland due to the high levels of rodenticides (Rat Poison) being used. It is hoped if we can get enough people to sign, we can ask questions at the highest levels in our government where action needs to be taken. The Barn Owl Project works with many wildlife rehabilitation experts all over Ireland and they are all highlighting this problem.
We were shocked over the years to see when we bring wildlife to wildlife rehabbers experts, they treat them for rodenticide no matter what the injuries. It is our strong belief that secondary poisoning in Barn Owls in Ireland is in the 85-90% range in Barn owls and this is likely to be the same in all predators: Foxes, Pine Martins, Stoats, Long Eared Owls, Buzzards, Kestrels, Peregrine falcons and many more. Anything that eats the target species of the poison (Rats/mice) or anything that eats an animal that dies from the poison or from secondary poisoning can be affected. Quite often secondary poisoning dose not kill the animals that are affected by it. But the animals affected quite often die from side effects like starvation or from collisions and more. It is also having a big impact on the breeding cycle of Barn Owls and other animals.
Currently there is little or no targeted testing for secondary poisoning in Ireland. Since 2011 a maximum of 8 Barn Owls and 6 kestrels which would be the species more affected have been tested for secondary poisoning under the NPWS Raptor Protocol. Raptor Protocol was set up in 2011 specifically to test for both intentional and secondary poisoning in Raptors or birds of prey. Almost no testing is taking place for secondary poisoning to date.
The Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) was set up a number of years ago, but this has resulted in no drop in the percentage of animals being affected by rodenticides and secondary poisoning. In fact it has gotten higher in the UK, and we believe it is the same in Ireland going on data from Irish wildlife rehabilitation experts and what they are seeing on the frontline.
THERE IS NO SAFE WAY TO USE RODENTICIDES AND THE RULES WE HAVE IN PLACE CURRENTLY ARE NOT WORKING AND IRISH WILDLIFE IS PAYING THE PRICE
WHAT WE ARE ASKING FOR
We are asking for the testing of key species, such as Barn Owls and the kestrel, that will show the signs of secondary poisoning, so we can determine the levels we are dealing with in Ireland. This should be run side by side with the testing of other predators in Ireland. The data gathered over a 2-year period will give us a baseline to work from.
We are also asking that rodenticide packaging has a picture attached to show people the impact rodenticides can have on wildlife. This would be something similar to the pictures found on cigarette packaging. Highlighting that Owls and other raptors can be killed by the use of this product even if the instructions are strictly followed.
All sales are logged and documented so if higher levels of animals are turning up with secondary poisoning in an area something can be done in the affected areas. Support should be given to the farming community to attract natural predators to deal with rodent problems. Information on how to prevent rodents getting a foothold on their properties should be given to people freely.
Lastly we strongly believe that all poisons should only be used by trained professionals and only as a last resort. This work should be closely monitored and all reports of individuals working outside of the agreed terms of their licence should face the highness penalties.
Please sign and share: Thank you The Barn Owl Project Team