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EU poison ban will see rat numbers soar, warns MEP

Northern Ireland could be overrun by rats if a new EU amendment goes through, it has been warned.



MEP Jim Nicholson said the proposed amendments to the Biocides Directive would ban certain rat poisons and threaten public health by leading to rodent infestations across the province.

“Councils and pest control businesses have contacted me to express their concerns about the impact of these proposals. The ban is intended to protect the public from toxic substances,” he said.

“But I believe it is going to ultimately endanger the public by leaving households, councils, farmers and businesses vulnerable to infestation and without any effective remedy.

“Rats can produce every six weeks and they can have six-to-eight offspring in each litter. In a single year, you can have up to 1,000 rats develop from a single breeding pair.

“This is the scale of the problem — it’s also a stark indicator of how quickly rodent infestations can get out of hand without human intervention.

“I am not scaremongering when I say that this ban may harm farming in Northern Ireland.

“All farmers need access to effective rodent control to protect poultry, grain stores and animal feed.”

The vote will take place on June 22.

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