RE: Impact of rat poison on barn owls

To: "'Peter Shute'" <>, <>
Subject: RE: Impact of rat poison on barn owls
From: "Andrew Thelander" <>
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2010 19:49:37 +1000
Hello Peter


Alas no.  In Australia, large retailer buyers put pressure on
farmers/orchardists to have third-party accredited audit systems in
operation on the farm for food safety purposes.  This includes a pest
control program, especially targeted at rats because their droppings harbour
salmonella.  One auditor told me that if they found a single rat dropping in
your farm shed, then technically you had a pest problem.  The control
program usually entails placing rat bait stations around the farm/orchard
and regularly replacing the baits.  The bait stations are removed during
harvest.  Farmers usually buy their rat baits from the local agricultural
produce store.  If you comply with this, you will pass your audit.  If you
want to use pest control via owls and raptors, I imagine the auditor would
want you to prove its efficacy with some data (which farmers don't have the
time or experience to gather).


In Queensland, some sugarcane and macadamia farms have owl boxes as part of
their pest control.  In Malaysia, they also use this approach but still bait
when rodent activity exceeds a certain limit.


In my experience, it is strangely rare to see barn owls in south east
Queensland whereas out west they are common.  I suspect they are a victim of
our pervasive food bureaucracy and institutionalized rodent baiting.  It is
a matter of serious concern and one that we need to watch.






 On Behalf Of Peter Shute
Sent: Wednesday, 15 December 2010 4:54 PM
To: ; 
Subject: RE: Impact of rat poison on barn owls


I got the impression that the problem they're discussing is around
buildings, where that approach can't work because the rats being targeted
are often indoors, then wander out to die.

Peter Shute

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