Veterinary Professionals Encouraged to Report Rodenticide Poisoning
EPA Considering Cancellation of Harmful Rodenticide Products

December 10, 2012

Update: October 15, 2013

In preparation for an administrative hearing to determine whether certain rodenticides should be pulled from the market, the EPA is seeking veterinary professionals with clinical experience treating poisoning by second generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) and by bromethalin. SGARs are currently only sold under the d-Con brand. Previously, some TomCat and Ortho brand products contained SGARs. Common brand names of bromethalin products are TomCat, Real Kill, and Assault.

If you have treated victims of SGAR and/or bromethalin rodenticides, please contact the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs as soon as possible, as the hearing could be scheduled at any time. Information about your clinical experience will help ensure these most harmful rodenticides must finally comply with EPA-mandated safety measures.

Contact Rusty Wasem at the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs at [email protected] or by phone at (703) 305-6979.

Update: April 25, 2013

Great news! On February 5, 2013, EPA issued a Notice of Intent to Cancel 12 D-Con rodenticide products that do not meet new safety requirements. This is the first step to remove these most toxic and dangerous rat and mouse poison products from the retail market.

The manufacturer has appealed this EPA action so the process could extend another 2 or more years. It’s important, therefore, that veterinary professionals continue to report rodenticide poisoning. Also, recently some veterinary publications reported concerns about consumers switching to rodenticide products with a different active ingredient in response to this EPA action. EPA is removing one active ingredient from homeowner products, but, EPA is also requiring that ALL rodenticides sold to homeowners be in block form in tamper-resistant bait stations to protect both people and pets.

Block bait in tamper-resistant bait stations will greatly reduce child and pet exposure to all rodenticides. Veterinarians should expect to see significantly fewer cases of rodenticide poisoning once EPA's requirements are fully enforced.

Rodenticide in bowl
The EPA is seeking adverse affects reports to determine whether the registrations of certain rodenticides warrant cancellation.

Currently, the Environmental Protection Agency EPA is deciding whether to cancel the registrations of several rodenticides because their manufacturers have not brought these products into compliance with new safety measures. The product manufacturers are fighting their orders to comply. As EPA weighs these decisions, they need as much evidence as possible about the real harm rodenticides are causing in order to support canceling the registrations of harmful products.

Each of the rodenticides being considered for cancellation contains one of these four active ingredients: (1) Bromethalin, (2) Brodifacoum, (3) Difethialone, or (4) Warfarin. However, not all products containing these ingredients are being considered for cancellation. Cancellation is based on a number of variables, including the bait form (pellets vs. block), lack of protective bait station, and the product target market (retail consumers vs. pest control operators and farmers).

Click here to see full details from the EPA»

To understand the magnitude and pattern of unintended (both non-target and secondary) poisonings from registered (i.e., legal to use) poisons, the EPA relies on reports of poisonings from members of the public and from the manufacturers of poisons themselves. These so-called "adverse effects" reports provide critical supporting information about the harm being caused by registered poisons.

And if veterinary professionals do not report incidents involving animals, the EPA is unlikely to find out about them.

If you have treated animals you know or suspect were victims of rodenticide poisoning, please promptly file reports on these cases with the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC), which is managed by Oregon State University in cooperation with the EPA.

Adverse effects reports can be filed:

Information you will be asked for includes:

  • Poisoning victim’s species
  • Laboratory test(s) performed and test results, if performed (however, testing is not required in order to file a report)
  • Clinical signs described in detail (cases demonstrating clear signs of rodenticide toxicity should be submitted, regardless of whether they were confirmed by tests)
  • Patient outcome (survived, died of poisoning, euthanized)
  • Specific poison, if known
  • Description of habitat (nature of the location where the animal was poisoned, i.e., inside home, suburban yard, farm, public park, etc.), if known
  • Circumstances under which the poisoning occurred, if known

If you have questions about any aspect of the adverse effects reporting process, or for more information about rodenticides and their negative effects on the health and welfare of animals, email [email protected] for more information.