With reference to the answer of 11 June 2009, Official Report, column 961W, on rats: the English House Condition Survey did not show a rising trend in rat numbers. Under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1954, local authorities have a duty to take such steps as may be necessary to secure so far as practicable that their district is kept free from rats. We have no plans to change this.
DEFRA is not a member of the Rodenticide Resistant Action Group and does not attend its meetings. However, Natural England's Wildlife Management and Licensing Service does attend meetings as a member of the group and it provides DEFRA with expert advice with regard to operational aspects of wildlife management.