The Scottish Government ( SG) monitors post-approval use of rodenticides. This surveillance is conducted by the Pesticide Survey Unit at Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture ( SASA), a division of the Scottish Government's Agriculture, Food and Rural Communities Directorate.
As part of this monitoring programme, a survey of 2015 Scottish local authority ( LA) rodenticide use was conducted. This is the first survey of this kind carried out in Scotland. All previous Scottish rodenticide surveys have focussed on use in agricultural settings. Rodenticide use on arable and grassland farms are conducted every two and four years respectively (1)(2). The reason this LA survey was conducted was to address the lack of data relating to rodenticide use in urban and non-agricultural settings in Scotland.
UK level LA rodenticide surveys have been published in the past by the Central Science Laboratory ( CSL) now Fera Science Ltd. The last UK survey was conducted in 2001 (3). It should be noted that the UK surveys estimated total LA use based on human population from the sample surveyed. In contrast, this survey only reports the data collected and does not attempt to estimate total Scottish LA rodenticide use (refer to survey methodology, Appendix 5).
The Scottish Pesticide Usage reports have been designated as Official Statistics since August 2012 and as National Statistics since October 2014. The Chief Statistician (Roger Halliday) acts as the statistics Head of Profession for the Scottish Government and has overall responsibility for the quality, format, content and timing of all Scottish Government national statistics publications, including the pesticide usage reports. As well as working closely with Scottish Government statisticians, SASA receive survey specific statistical support from Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland ( BioSS).
All reports are produced according to a published timetable. For further information in relation to Pesticide Survey Unit publications and their compliance with the code of practice please refer to the pesticide usage survey section of the SASA website. The website also contains other useful documentation such as confidentiality and revision policies, user feedback and detailed background information on survey methodology.
Additional information regarding pesticide use can be supplied by the Pesticide Survey Unit. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the survey unit webpage:
Structure of report and how to use these statistics
This report is intended to provide data in a useful format to a wide variety of data users. The results and comparison section presents the results from this survey and compares the data with results from other rodenticide surveys.
Appendix 1 contains tables of results, including estimates of rodenticide use and responses to questions about compliance with best practice. Appendix 1 summarises survey statistics including survey response rates. Appendix 3 outlines the estimated financial burden to survey respondents. Appendix 4 defines many of the terms used throughout the report. Appendix 5 describes the methods used during sampling and data collection.
The data collected by the Pesticide Survey Unit, which includes information about rodenticides and plant protection products as well as other methods of pest control, are used for a number of purposes including:
- Informing UK and Scottish Government Policy about the post-approval use of pesticides
- Aiding Government officials in their response to Scottish Parliamentary and Ministerial questions regarding the use of pesticides
- To inform and complement research projects conducted by agricultural research institutions
- To inform and prioritise monitoring strategies of environmental quality bodies
- To provide data to the pesticide industry to allow insight into the use patterns of pesticidal products
- To provide information to interested or concerned environmental and wildlife groups and members of the public
- To provide an educational resource for teaching and student research projects
Case studies of how the Scottish dataset has been used are provided on the SASA webpage.