The Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS) investigates wildlife deaths in England and Wales where there is evidence that pesticide poisoning may be involved. WIIS monitors pesticide use after approval, so that product approvals can be revised if necessary, and provides a measure of the success of the pesticide registration process. Evidence from WIIS can also be used to enforce legislation on the use of pesticides and the protection of humans, food, the environment and animals. WIIS is funded via the Chemicals Regulation Directorate of HSE and Welsh Government.
The Wildlife Incident Unit at Fera Science Ltd conducts the toxicology investigations for WIIS and interprets the significance of residues detected. During a typical year, Feras Wildlife Incident Unit (WIU) investigates around 150 cases, and over a third of these will be attributed to pesticides. In many cases, the pesticides have not been correctly used and this may result in enforcement action, such as a criminal prosecution. In these cases, the WIU team can provide expert witness statements.