Defra Statement

Defra, Room 109, Temple Quay House,

2 The Square, BRISTOL, BS1 6EB


29 January 2007

Dear Mr Purser,


I write to confirm our recent telephone conversation regarding the use of ‘Rodenator’.

The use of any explosive other than ammunition for the purpose of killing or taking any wild animal is prohibited under section 11 (1) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Section 16 of this Act makes provision for the licensing of otherwise prohibited methods, such as the above, for certain purposes.

Our understanding is that ‘Rodenator’ is covered by the term ‘any explosive’ and so is a prohibited method of killing wild animals.

You ask if the use of Rodenator for the sole purpose of collapsing the burrows of rats, rabbits and other protected mammals would contravene UK wildlife legislation.

Firstly I must stress we can only answer with respect to England as this is a matter for the devolved administrations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

With the exception mentioned below, we are not aware of any wildlife legislation that prohibits methods of collapsing the burrows of rats, rabbits or other protected mammals, providing it is not used for the purpose of taking or killing wild animals. Thus Rodenator could be used legally for this purpose.

We would strongly suggest that all reasonable means are taken to ensure no animals are inadvertently killed whilst using the device to collapse burrows. The operator will need to make their own assessment of what this entails for any given situation and only proceed with collapsing burrows when he/she is satisfied that this has been done to a satisfactory standard.

The exception would be if the action proposed would affect the habitat or resting place of any specially protected animals or other protected habitats or sites which are protected from damage or disturbance.

Yours sincerely,


Ashley Matthews

Senior Wildlife Adviser

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"I am extremely pleased with the results, particularly the destruction of the treated tunnels and dens, which prevents immediate re-infestation deep into the field from the perimeter."

Brett Johnson Johnson's Farrier Co., LLC


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James White ACS Wildlife & Snake Management Hughesville, MD


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