New General Licence WML-GL35 issued today

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:-
  • Feral Pigeon (Columba livia); Magpie (Pica pica); Carrion Crow (Corvus corone); Jackdaw (Corvus monedula); Rook (Corvus frugilegus).
  • 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When GL05 was revoked at very short notice there was a lot of uncertainty, confusion and trouble for a number of our customers.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.

If you have any questions regarding the new licences then please call 01189323755 or email admin@checkservices.co.uk

Update on General Licences in England

Feral pigeon in a building

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.

Interim Measures

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:

  1. Contact Check Services Ltd to let us know you have a bird / birds in your building.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The completed application must then be emailed to birds2019@naturalengland.org.uk copying in lewis@checkservices.co.uk
  5. You will receive an auto receipt confirming that Natural England have received your application.
  6. 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.
  7. On completion of the work, Natural England must be notified via birds2019@naturalengland.org.uk copying in lewis@checkservices.co.uk confirming the outcome.

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 admin@checkservices.co.uk

Natural England – Interim Licence applications

Natural Resources Wales – General Licences 2019 Birds

Natural England revokes General Licences

Commercial Pest Control - Nuisance pigeons on a restaurant table
Commercial Pest Control – Nuisance pigeons on a restaurant table

As from today (26th April 2019) the General Licences GL04, GL05 & GL06 have been revoked. The general licences allowed a land owner or other authorised person to:

catch alive or kill certain wild birds to prevent serious damage or disease (GL04);

catch alive or kill certain birds, or take, damage or destroy their nests, or take or destroy their eggs to preserve public health or safety (GL05);

catch alive or kill wild birds to protect plants and wildlife (GL06).

The aim is to introduce modified licences in the very near future; hopefully starting from 29th April but in the meantime, a temporary system has been introduced which requires individual licenses to be applied for in each specific case. These can be found by following this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wild-birds-licence-to-control-certain-species

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.

BRC V8

British Retail Consortium V8 Draft document

Check Services have provided feedback to British Retail Consortium (BRC) on their draft document , we have focused on Section 4.14 – Pest Control.

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.

Online systems upgrade

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.

We will keep you up to date with progress.

Check Services Ltd. – 40 Years of Service (Part IV)

The Early Years – Part IV – First Year Results

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).

Check Services- 40 Years of Service (Part III)

The Early Years Part III –  Staff and Transport

The First Annual Report was published in 1978 which gives an insight into the first year of trading.

Mistakes with both staffing and transport are shown in two extracts below:

Staffing levels in 1977 / 78

An initial option to purchase second vehicles proved costly.

Check Services Ltd – 40 years of service (Part II)

The Early Years – Part II – Business Outlook & Premises

Check Fumigation and Pest Control (as Check Services Limited was originally known) had identified 3 key business advantages within it’s First Annual Report:

3 business advantages taken from our First Annual Report (published 1978).

The monopoly within the industry (being discussed above) was Rentokil. It was felt that there were plenty of opportunities for a company that was capable of providing quality pest control services and understood the needs of the Food Industry.

161, Oxford Road, Reading

In March 1977 Check Fumigation and Pest Control Limited moved into it’s first premises: 161, Oxford Road, Reading. We initially leased the ground floor but eventually added the basement as well as the rear garages.  161, Oxford Road is now a Dental Practice.

Expanding foam does not stop rodents.

Rats chew through expanding foam to access wall cavity.

Some materials are good for proofing against rodents and some provide a temporary seal at best.

Rats chew through expanding foam.This photo shows a large gap around cables which had been sealed using expanding foam. This may be an effective insulation but it will not prevent rodents from accessing the wall cavity and potentially other areas of the building. This was the case here where rats were able to gain access into several areas of the building once inside the wall cavity.

We had been informed that wire mesh had been inserted around the cabling prior to the expanding foam being used, but this proved to be incorrect, leaving the site vulnerable to rodent ingress. Treatments followed to remove the rats from the building, the expanding foam was cut out and the brickwork was then sealed up properly.

If you have any questions about Check Services, the services we offer, or you would like a survey of your premises, please contact us using the contact tab on the side of this page or by using the contact page

Evidence of rat activity

Rats infest buildings from external drainage system

Check Services Limited was asked to look at a site where there was an issue with rats.

Rat damage to drain cover

It quickly became apparent that the rats were accessing the area outside the building via a hole which had been chewed in the plastic drainage cover.  The photo left shows the hole and you can also see the teeth marks.

 

The site were unaware of this and their current pest control contractor had been baiting the area for some time without noting the source of the problem. Check Services organised a drain inspection as well as requesting that the hole was made good. A full and thorough inspection was needed to identify the problem; dealing with the source of the problem, not just the pests present.

If you have any questions about Check Services, the services we offer, or you would like a survey of your premises, please contact us using the contact tab on the side of this page or by using the contact page