Guidance

Animal poisoning inspection

Information for landowners about how Natural England investigates reports of death or injury to wildlife or pets where pesticides may be involved.

Who gets inspected

Natural England inspects land where there’s been a report of animals killed or injured by possible exposure to pesticides. The report may come from a landowner, vet, local authority, conservation group or member of the public.

This is part of the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS).

What gets inspected

Where pesticides may be involved, Natural England investigates reports of death or injury to:

  • wildlife
  • pets, also known as ‘companion animals’
  • ‘beneficial invertebrates’, for example honey bees or worms

Natural England examine the land where wildlife deaths have occurred. It may carry out a farm visit to identify pesticides that have been recently used or stored.

Time and length

Investigations take 1 to 4 hours, but Natural England may spend more time on the farm if test results indicate pesticide poisoning.

What happens next

Natural England generally send wildlife casualties for post mortem and pesticide analysis. If there is a positive pesticides analysis then there may be a further farm visit to identify pesticides that have been used or stored. The Health and Safety Executive, who oversee WIIS, will decide if any further action is required.

Cases are closed as soon as possible if alternative explanations or causes of death are identified.

Published 12 January 2016