MR DOVEASTON (LETTER, left) asks some pertinent questions about the new law on rodenticides. The legislation changed on March 1 this year, as required by the European Chemicals Agency, and basically the level of active ingredient in rodenticides available to the general public has been halved, as a result of concerns about health risks to people and “non-target” predators such as stoats and owls.

Manufacturers have responded in different ways. For example, Rentokil has discontinued its products based on such active ingredient staples as difenacoum, and now bases its rodenticides available to the general public on the more powerful brodifacoum. The firm states that it spent 18 months in advance of the law change in testing the safety and effectiveness of brodifacoum-based products that meet the new, lower legal maximum. Its products and packaging are now smaller, says Rentokil, because lesser quantities are needed for effective use. Follow the instructions carefully and it will work as well as ever, we’re told.

But what about value for money? Buyers are bound to become cynical if they’re asked to pay more for less. Have other birdkeepers been affected by the change? All comments and advice on the subject welcome.

■ Calling all show secretaries: it’s the silly season, when shows and show reports are genuinely thin on the ground. And that means… there’s probably space for you in Club News! All show reports, club events such as outings and so on are most welcome, especially if you have one or two usable photos. Laura Keens is your contact:

■ Editor’s Quote of the Week: “A regular task included cycling to the horse-meat shop in Old Windsor to buy bullock hearts for the kookaburra.” Veteran canary man Dave Collier looks back on the delights of an early job as a birdkeeper, page 15.

■ Ed’s Ad of the Week: “Companion wanted for female capuchin. Only serious callers please. No time wasters and no marmosets.” (Wanted advert, page 25.) Well, in my experience, marmosets ALWAYS waste your time when they ring up.

Don’t let any primate stop you enjoying your birds this week!


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