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Rodent eradication lies in directed vitamin dose

Rodent eradication lies in directed vitamin dose

Auckland, August 10 2016: Rats die of a heart attack within 48 hours of being sprayed with a new chemical formulation invented by a New Zealand – United Kingdom joint venture.

The formula includes Cholecalciferol, better known as vitamin D3 and used as a health supplement in humans.

But Peter Signal, a director of New Zealand company Advanced Animal Technologies (AAT), says it’s the combination of the chemical formula with a specially designed delivery system, called PiedPiper, that has been shown to deliver outstanding results in trials in the UK, Europe and Kenya.

‘We haven’t run trials in New Zealand, but are moving to register it here and in Australia so it can be deployed,” Mr Signal says. “There are significant advantages over multi-feed bait or snap trap systems as PiedPiper delivers an exact lethal dose in a single application.

“We believe PiedPiper could be extremely efficient used as part of the New Zealand Government’s plan to eradicate all pests threatening native birds and species by 2050.”

The PiedPiper technology comprises a plastic moulded shell housing movement sensors, an aerosol can and a processor. Rats are attracted into the shell by pheromones. When the rat trips the movement sensors the processor activates the aerosol spray. A kill dose of the chemical sprayed onto the rat’s back gets absorbed through its skin in 15 - 20 minutes. One can eradicates up to 250 rats before replacement is needed.

Steve Goode, the majority owner of AAT and its UK partner Biotronics Ltd, claims that the chemical is effective on all anticoagulant resistant rats and another major advantage is that future populations of rats will never develop chemical resistance.

“Super Rats” are developing and becoming poison tolerant due to the multi-feeding of toxins. The alternative physical trap methods are generally considered too labour intensive needing servicing and rebaiting after each trigger event. In contrast, PiedPiper devices can be networked to optimise efficacy and minimize operator cost.

“PiedPiper leaves no environmental residues, unlike the anticoagulants, and has low toxicity to other species solving the problem of secondary poisoning,” Mr Goode says. “Significantly, lower doses than the current toxins available are also effective. This is due to the transdermal technology and the single application needed. Our technology uses less than 5% of the current Environmental Toxic Load. It also has low toxicity for humans.”

PiedPiper has taken more than 10 years to develop and, along with attracting European Commission Research funding, has had a team of leading commercial, research, scientific and chemical engineers from several leading UK and European universities and research-based SME's developing the technology. Biotronics is now seeking investment to accelerate commercialisation of its technology and to market it internationally.

“We have a product with high socio-economic demand and the highest level of environmental credentials of any rodenticide ever produced,” Mr Goode says. “It reduces the risk of diseases being spread, infrastructure damage, crop losses and food contamination by effectively, safely, humanely and cost-effectively controlling rat populations. The cost of these problems around the world runs into many billions of dollars.”


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