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Push to ban store bought rodent poison

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

The Agriculture Legislation Amendment Bill is poised to be debated in Victoria’s upper house on Tuesday, when both chambers of state parliament resume sitting.

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

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.

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.

“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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