Cultivation/Production, Europe, UK, Ireland, Pests and Diseases, Sustainability

Ban on metaldehyde use for slug control to ‘have a major impact on British farmers’

Use of metaldehyde slug pellets must end by spring 2020, following a decision from Defra, but the NFU has warned the move will put the UK at a competitive disadvantage, CPM reports.

The Environment Secretary Michael Gove has announced a ban on the outdoor use of metaldehyde, used to control slugs in a range of crops, across Great Britain from Spring 2020.

The decision to prohibit the use of metaldehyde, except in permanent greenhouses, follows advice from the UK Expert Committee on Pesticides (ECP) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that metaldehyde poses an unacceptable risk to birds and mammals, says Defra.

The NFU called the move “hugely disappointing” and said it will have a major impact on British farmers and growers, as well as on food production.

“These products have been reauthorised for use in 21 EU member states,” pointed out NFU deputy president Guy Smith.

“[The ban] simply gifts a competitive advantage to farmers abroad who will export into our markets using crop protection materials banned in the UK.”

Read the full report on CPM

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