Agriculture: Metaldehyde

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 13th October 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Kennedy of Cradley Baroness Kennedy of Cradley Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what advice they have provided to British farmers about the decision to ban the use of metaldehyde.

Photo of Lord Gardiner of Kimble Lord Gardiner of Kimble The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The outdoor use of metaldehyde, a pesticide used to control slugs on farms and in gardens, will not be allowed in Great Britain after the end of March 2022. This decision takes into account expert scientific assessment of the risks that metaldehyde poses to birds and mammals.

Phasing out the use of metaldehyde gives farmers time to switch to alternative slug control measures and we will provide targeted messages during the phase out period. Individual farmers will want to decide their best option. Products containing ferric phosphate remain available, however, and can provide effective slug control without carrying the same risks to wildlife as metaldehyde pellets.

The decision has been communicated via the farming media, and we will continue to engage with farmers on this issue.

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