To assist your understanding of Pest Control and what your requirements are, whether you handle food or not, many pieces of legislation exist. These are as follows:
Health and Safety at Work (Etc) Act 1974
Employers must take the necessary measures to ensure the health, safety and welfare, of employees and the public in general, to avoid, for example diseases carried by pests, bites from fleas, slippery conditions caused by bird droppings, and the contamination of food.
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1988
These regulations come under the Health and Safety at Work (Etc.) Act 1974, and are designed to protect employees and members of the general public from substances that they may come into contact with whilst at the work place.
Food & Environment Protection Act 1985
This Act controls the use of pesticides. It aims to protect humans, fauna, flora and the environment. It also aims to secure safe, efficient and humane methods for pest control. It enables health inspectors to enter any land, building or vehicle if it is believed that a pesticide has been illegally used, stored, sold or otherwise misused. The Act also enables inspectors to obtain information and to serve notices if an offence has been committed. Inspectors have the power to issue improvement notices, prohibition notices and ultimately close businesses.
Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986 (COPR)
Only approved pesticides may be advertised, supplied, stored, sold or used. Product labels must have information on them explaining where they can be used, how to use them and highlighting all safety precautions. It is an offence to use a pesticide for a purpose outside of the approval.
Biocide Product Regulations 2013 (BPR)
All biocidal products must be authorised and approved for use. They will be allocated either a HSE or BPR registration number.
Food Safety Act 1990 & the Food Hygiene Regulations 2013
Bussinesses that grow, process, store, distribute or sell food must ensure that the food is safe to eat, procedures should be implemented to prevent food and food products from being damaged or contaminated by pests. It is an offence to sell, advertise or be in possession of food that is unfit for human consumption. Prohibition notices can be served for improvements, such as proofing, housekeeping and eradication of pests. People working with food must be food hygiene trained and exhibit due diligence.
The Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations 1995
All food premises should have suitable procedures in place to protect against pest infestations, food must not be contaminated by pests.
Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949
Businesses involved in the manufacture, storage, transportation, or the sale of food must take steps to control any current pest infestation.
Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981
This Act states that all birds, nests and eggs are protected. If a bird species is causing a health risk and the species has been listed in the list of licences of birds that may be controlled then it might be possible to remove a species from a site.
This Act also covers the protection of other animals such as bats, red squirrels and water voles. It also controls the introduction of non-resident species into the countryside such as grey squirrels, mink and Canada goose.
Animals must not be treated inhumanely and the use of self locking snares, bows, crossbows or explosives are prohibited.
Pests Act 1954
This act is covers rabbits and spring traps. Landowners are responsible for controlling rabbits on their land, proofing can be used to minimise damage but it is illegal to intentionally introduce myxomatosis into rabbit populations. Only approved traps under the guidelines of the Spring Traps Approval Order 2012 may be used, these must be set in ways not to harm non-target animals and checked daily.
Animal Welfare Act 2006
Under this Act it is your duty to ensure the welfare of any animal in your charge.
Wild Mammals Protection Act 1996
Officers have the power to prosecute anyone causing unnecessary and unlawful suffering to wild mammals.
Public Health Act 1936 & 1961
Under this Act, local authorities have the power to control verminous pests (insects, eggs, larvae & pupa) within properties, disconnect and seal unused drains and humanely deal with damage and fouling (guano) caused from feral pigeons, house doves and sparrows.