VPCRAC Objectives

The objectives of the vertebrate pest control research program established and administered by the Secretary of CDFA are:

  1. To investigate effective and economical alternative materials for the control of vertebrate pests.
  2. To solicit and consider research proposals for alternative humane methods of control.
  3. To continue the state's current vertebrate pest control product registrations until such time as effective alternative products are available.
  4. To fund research for the development of scientific data required to maintain registrations.
  5. To cooperate with U S Department of Agriculture in funding research programs to maintain, develop, and register vertebrate pest control materials used in California.


Each year ground squirrels, pocket gophers, voles, rats, birds and other animals cause millions of dollars of damage to California agriculture. Farmers, park managers, foresters, and others, including homeowners, use an integrated approach to deal with these important and sometimes devastating pest problems. An essential part of these management programs is use of rodenticide baits such as anticoagulants, zinc phosphide, burrow fumigants such as gas cartridges, and bird control devices.

How is VPCRAC Funded?

In 1990, the Rodenticide Surcharge Program (Assembly Bill 2776) requested each agricultural commissioner to collect a fee or surcharge of 50 cents for each pound of vertebrate pest control material sold, distributed, or applied by the county. The money generated by this surcharge is used to fund the research required by the EPA to maintain current registrations, payment of registration fees, to improve existing rodenticides, and to find new materials and methods to solve vertebrate pest problems.

Who is VPCRAC?

Current committee members are:

  • Dennis Bray - Public Member
  • Art Foster - Agricultural industry
  • Mark Novak - California Department of Public Health 
  • Dale Huss - Agricultural  industry 
  • Dan Spangler - Agricultural industry
  • Robert Timm - University of California
  • Karen Sweet - Agricultural industry
  • Paul Stapp - California State University
  • Ruben Arroyo- Kern County Department of Agriculture and Measurement Standards
  • David Kratville-California Department of Food and Agriculture