Resources for clients - protect pets and wildlife by making better rat poison choices02 Aug 2022
The AVA recently collaborated with BirdLife Australia, a not-for-profit organisation that advocates for native birds and the conservation of their habitats, in a campaign to urge consumers to avoid anticoagulant rodenticides that put pets, birds and wildlife at risk.
A survey conducted between September 2021 and January 2022 found more than nine in ten Australian vets have treated pets for poisoning from anti-coagulant rodenticide products that are commonly available on supermarket shelves.1 One in five domestic pet and wildlife vets were treating household pets at least once per week for rodenticide poisoning.
Cowra Vet Dr Peter Launders saw terrible consequences on both pets and wildlife during the mouse plague in 2021. “With more people buying and using mouse poison we saw huge numbers of rodenticide poisoning cases,” said Dr Launders. “It got so bad that we had to ration the use of the antidote and we ran out of dog blood donors and had to put a call out to the community to volunteer their pets.”
Pets were not the only animals affected. BirdLife Australia Urban Birds Program Manager Dr Holly Parsons says, “Rodent poisons also have a terrible impact on native wildlife. These products can kill not only the rats and mice they are targeting, but any bird or animal that might eat a dead or dying rodent. Slow-moving poisoned rodents can take several days to die – making them easy prey for other animals that will in turn be poisoned.”
The campaign is pushing for second generation anticoagulant rodenticides to be federally regulated, banning them from domestic sale and making them available for use only by licenced professionals.
It has also called on retailers like Bunnings to voluntarily take the products off their shelves.
For veterinarians, BirdLife Australia have created a number of resources, including posters for clients and a brochure for vets. These are available on their website.
They also have an Action Kit for Councils that wish to stop using first- and second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides.
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1 Survey of 62 Australian vets taken between September 2021 and January 2022. Survey was developed by BirdLife Australia and circulated via the Australian Veterinary Association and on professional veterinary social media accounts.