Greens push to ban store-bought rodent poison to protect native wildlife that feed on dead rats

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Greens push to ban store-bought rodent poison to protect native wildlife killed after feeding off dead rats

  • The Greens in Victoria want to ban second-generation poisons from stores 
  • Poison targets vermin, but can also harm native animals feeding on dead rats 
  • It can currently be bought off the shelf in stores like Woolworths and Bunnings
  • Fears on a Victorian ban against growing food in garden debunked as wrong
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The Victorian Greens are pushing to ban the general sale of second-generation rodent poisons in stores across the state, as part of an agriculture reforms bill.

Second-generation rodent poisons would no longer be able to be bought off supermarket and hardware store shelves in Victoria under a proposed ban.

The Agriculture Legislation Amendment Bill is being debated in Victoria’s upper house as both chambers of state parliament sitting.

It will amend 11 different agricultural acts to address measures including biodiversity, chemical use, veterinary practice and food safety.

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Ellen Sandell, deputy leader of the Victorian Greens (pictured with Federal Greens leader Adam Bandt) has urged the Andrews government to back the second generation rodent poisons ban to protect the state's precious wildlife

Ellen Sandell, deputy leader of the Victorian Greens (pictured with Federal Greens leader Adam Bandt) has urged the Andrews government to back the second generation rodent poisons ban to protect the state’s precious wildlife

The bill has bi-partisan support, but the Victorian Greens plan to move an amendment to also outlaw the general sale of second-generation rodent poisons in supermarkets and hardware stores.

Second generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) can currently be bought off the shelf in stores like Woolworths and Bunnings.

Unlike first-generation poisons, a blood-thinning chemical used in SGARs can remain active for months and cause secondary poisoning of wildlife such as native eagles and owls that prey on dead and dying rodents.

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Federal authorities knocked back a request from NSW last year to use bromadiolone, a SGAR dubbed “napalm for rodents”, to control its raging mouse plague over concerns for other wildlife.

Under the proposed Victorian ban, farmers would still be able to purchase second-generation rodent poisons when required, in line with licence rules in Europe.

Ellen Sandell, deputy leader of the Victorian Greens, has urged the Andrews government to back the ban to protect the state’s precious wildlife.

“Every year, countless native birds, mammals and pet cats and dogs are poisoned due to eating mice and rats that have ingested dangerous poisons you can buy at the supermarket,” she said in a statement.

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“These dangerous rat poisons should not be for sale at supermarkets and hardware stores, and many countries have already banned them.”

The agriculture amendment bill has previously been subject to debunked viral claims, spread in Australia as well as parts of Europe, that it will ban people from growing their own food.

“There is nothing in the bill to stop Victorians growing their own food,” AAP FactCheck ruled.

A Victorian government spokeswoman confirmed the changes would do no such thing, declaring the legislation will instead help safeguard food security, food safety and access to export markets.

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A second generation rat poison is being debated in Victoria's upper house as to whether it should continue being sold in stores, like Woolworths and Bunnings, as The Victorian Greens claim the poison kills native birds and pets that feed on dead rat flesh

A second generation rat poison is being debated in Victoria’s upper house as to whether it should continue being sold in stores, like Woolworths and Bunnings, as The Victorian Greens claim the poison kills native birds and pets that feed on dead rat flesh

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