Plans to restrict the use of powerful pest poisons will result in a large rise in the UK's rat population, according to environmental health experts.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is consulting on the use of rodenticides in the UK amid fears they are being overused. The executive has signalled that it is considering restricting their use to within five metres of a building – and then only when rats are "having a significant impact on the building or its occupants".
The HSE is concerned that the poisons are killing other wildlife – notably birds. There are also fears that the extensive application of rodenticides is resulting in rats becoming immune to the poisons.