3 new General Licences were issued today relating to bird control. The most relevant for our customer base will be WML-GL35 – To kill or take certain species of wild birds to preserve public health or public safety.
GL35 is a 13 page document which can be downloaded via the attachment below. A summary of some the key points are as follows:
Issued to preserve public health or public safety
permits authorised persons to ‘kill or take; and to take, damage or destroy the nests, or take or destroy the eggs of the following species:-
Licence Conditions – There are a number of conditions applicable to the use of this licence and I would like to highlight Licence Condition 1:-
“before [and when] using this licence, reasonable endeavours must have been made to achieve the purpose in question using lawful methods not covered by this licence (unless their use would be impractical, without effect or disproportionate in the circumstances).”
These new General Licences do not remove the need for everyone to carry out preventative measures. Good hygiene and proofing practices are still a base condition of the licences. Even if inside a building, non lethal methods of removal must be attempted. Where lawful methods could be deemed ‘disproportionate in the circumstances’, resulting in the use of GL35, then it is expected that an investigation takes place to establish how the bird(s) gained access and what can be done to prevent future problems. It is strongly recommended that our customers record each incident that involves the use of the licence, including other lawful methods which have been used to resolve the problem.
What does this all mean?
Users do not need to apply for, or register to use these licences. For most of our customers, the main species covered within this licence is the Feral Pigeon (Columba livia). Most other bird species will require a separate, individual licence application. Our staff can carry out lethal methods to remove feral pigeons to preserve public health of public safety within the conditions of the licence.
When GL05 was revoked at very short notice there was a lot of uncertainty, confusion and trouble for a number of our customers. The legal challenge to the old General Licences, highlights the importance of following the conditions under which these new licences are issued.
Defra requested information on the impact of revoking the General Licences from interested parties giving us just over a week to provide details. The British Pest Control Association (BPCA) have written to Defra on behalf of it’s members highlighting the importance of the General Licences and also the impact that their revocation is having on Public Health and Safety. Our industry awaits the outcome of this consultation.
Note: This only applies to our customers in England, the General Licences for other countries in the UK are still active. In Wales the licences can be found here but two of the most common General Licences used by our customers in Wales can be found at the bottom of this page. These are General Licences and as such, no application is required but clearly the criteria within the individual General Licence must be met.
Whilst the General Licences have been revoked, it is possible to apply for individual licences to remove birds which are causing issues with public health and safety. The procedure for our customers is as follows:
Download the Licence application form (see bottom of page). Note that the .pdf can only be opened with the most up to date versions of Adobe Reader and a number of customers are having problems with this – in this situation download the Word version.
The form must then be completed, confirming location, bird species and what non lethal methods of control have taken place or need to take place prior to any lethal control methods.
You will receive an auto receipt confirming that Natural England have received your application.
Attempts to remove the bird(s) using non lethal methods must be carried out by our customers prior to the application being submitted. Note that there is a significant backlog with Natural England so it is unlikely that you will get a quick response. Due to this backlog it may be necessary to carry out lethal control prior to the licence being granted by NE. However, this can only be done if all other non lethal methods to remove the bird have been carried out and all the criteria laid out in the application form has been met.
We are doing all that we can to minimise the impact of these changes and will keep you up to date as soon as we get further information. If you have any further questions then please do not hesitate to contact us via telephone 01189323755 or email email@example.com
This may cause some delays for our customers if they have any problems which would have been covered within the General Licences. Our aim is to minimise and disruption but our customers will need to apply for temporary licenses on a case by case basis until the amended general licences are introduced.
Please contact us if you require further information.
Office opening hours this Christmas period are as follows:
Check Services Office Hours
Outside office hours the normal procedures apply:- To place calls please refer to the ‘Key Contacts’ sheet in the report folder for details. Please leave a full message on our answer machine and the details are forwarded to the ‘on call’ member of staff who will respond.
There are not too many amendments to the pest control section of this draft document. Most amendments involve tidying up terminology although there are a few changes which may have some impact on service.
Probably the biggest change relates to birds and their roosting points. There would appear to be a change of emphasis from ‘proofing if there is an issue’, to showing by risk assessment that there is NOT an issue. This may result in more of our customers having to proof areas of their sites against birds roosting.
There are also changes to the requirements for trending and analysis. There are no specific details so I suspect that this will become clearer via guidance notes or following onsite audits.
Obviously this is still a draft document and even if this becomes the final document there will still be areas which will need further guidance notes and / or be open to auditor interpretation.
Further details will be provided as we are updated.
Check Services Ltd have been looking for an effective online system for many years. We have been continually looking but we had not found a system that could deliver the detailed reporting systems which we offer our customers.
We are currently trialling a system which we hope will be effective, easy to use and meet the requirement of our customers. The software is a bespoke system from Service Tracker, a company with a background in IT systems and pest control.
We are still in the trial phase for the main customer reporting system but will be going live with the service support software in early 2018.
Office opening hours this Christmas period are as follows:
Outside office hours the normal procedures apply:-
To place calls please refer to the ‘Key Contacts’ sheet in the report folder for details. Please leave a full message on our answer machine and the details are forwarded to the ‘on call’ member of staff who will respond.
Check Services Ltd are CEPA Certified, conforming to EN 16636.
Check Services Ltd have been CEPA Certified since July 2016.
We have just had our first interim audit which we have passed.
The standard, EN 16636, specifies the requirements, recommendations and basic competences under which pest management service companies must operate to meet the needs of their customers, be they private companies, public authorities or the general public. It has been developed by The Confederation of European Pest Management Associations (CEPA) in collaboration with the European Standards Institute (CEN).
The benefits of being CEPA Certified® :
As the first common standard for pest management operators, certification to EN 16636 demonstrates the professional credentials of an organisation against a European benchmark for pest management
Achieve 3rd Party independent verification
Contribute to standardising the public health and food safety industry with verification to an internationally recognised, professional standard
Build supply chain confidence and enhance your competitive benefit with this recognised mark of quality
Check Services celebrated this milestone with afternoon drinks, an evening meal and party for all staff and partners.
The event took place at the wonderful Hotel du Vin in Birmingham. A great afternoon and evening which moved between their Courtyard; Krug room and then to the Pub du Vin in the basement. Everybody stayed over so we were all able to relax and enjoy an excellent day. There was a presentation on ‘The History of Check Services’ as well as a quiz followed by prizes and ‘thank you’ gifts.
Dave Banks (Director) is also celebrating the same milestone; 40 years ago he joined the company. Lewis Jenkins (Managing Director) presented Dave with a gift to thank him for his service over the last 40 years.
Other gifts included bouquets of flowers for Denise (Office Manager) and Margaret Jenkins (Director). Bottles of champagne, chocolates and other gifts were given to a number of staff as part of the presentation evening.
Turnover forecasts for the first year of trading were £56,000. A successful first year in fumigation meant that Check Fumigation and Pest Control Limited exceeded it’s forecasted turnover by more than 30%. This helped limit losses during the first year to £329 (forecast was a loss of £4,500).
Forecast and actual results.
Turnover for 1st Year of trading (actually 54 weeks)
More than 70% of our turnover in 1977/78 came from Fumigation work but pest control service contracts were being won:
New business, membership of BPCA and a Patent application filed
New business included food manufacturers such as Mars; ABF; Rank Hovis McDougall and also retailers such as Waitrose; J. Sainsbury; M&S and Boots the Chemist.
We gained membership of the BPCA in 1977 and will have been members for the 40 years since. Our membership number is 102 but most of the companies from 001 – 101 have come and gone.
Finally, we were involved in developing a product at a time when pest control products could be brought to market without investing millions of pounds. Our Patent was for a tunnel containing a wick impregnated with a Brodifacoum, a second generation anticoagulant. This was to become known as the Checkatube, a product that never really found it’s niche and became lost when development costs became prohibitive. (More about the Checkatube later).