The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has successfully deflected the onerous effects of a final rule on chemicals the livestock industry uses to control rodents.

On May 28, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its “Risk Mitigation Decision for 10 Rodenticides,” which seeks to reduce children’s exposure to rodenticide products in the home and to lessen wildlife exposure to and ecological risks from rodenticides.

EPA initially proposed that all second-generation rodenticides, which are deadly after a single ingestion of bait, be classified as “restricted use.” This would have meant anyone wishing to use rodenticides would need a pesticide applicator’s license, according to the NPPC.

EPA determined there was little risk of misuse of rodenticides by livestock producers, and therefore, under the final rule, no applicator’s license will be required.

However, producers must buy rodenticides in bulk packs of 8 lb. or more from a farm store or directly from a manufacturer. The products, which will be labeled “For Agricultural Use Only,” must be used within 50 ft. of an agricultural structure.

Under the final rule, producers can use loose forms of rodent bait such as pellets, meal or liquids indoors. Use outdoors is restricted to bait stations.

NPPC issued comments earlier this year indicating that EPA’s initial rule would be burdensome on producers, and that the costs of compliance far outweighed the risks of misuse of rodenticides.

“Working with EPA, NPPC was able to minimize the rodenticide rule’s challenges and costs for pork producers,” says NPPC President Bryan Black, a pork producer from Canal Winchester, OH. “It is extremely important that producers be able to easily obtain and use rodent-control products, which help protect our animals from disease and prevent destruction of equipment and feed.”