The Environment Secretary has today (19 December 2018) announced that the application for authorisation for professional and amateur slug pellet products containing metaldehyde has been refused.

The decision to prohibit the use of metaldehyde, 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 small mammals.

The outdoor use of metaldehyde will be phased out over 18 months to give growers time to adjust to other methods of slug control. It will be legal to sell and distribute metaldehyde products for outdoor use for the next six months, with the disposal, storage and use of existing stocks permissible for a further 12 months.

The decision has been met with great disappointment from both the professional and amateur metaldehyde stewardship groups.

David Cameron, chairman of the group representing professional uses, the Metaldehyde Stewardship Group (MSG), says the news comes as a blow to the agricultural industry, who have worked collaboratively to safeguard this key active ingredient for slug control, since 2008.

Ben Shapiro, representing the Amateur Metaldehyde Stewardship group (MSA) says; “We are continuing to consult with Defra surrounding the sell-out period for the amateur uses of metaldehyde products.”

The groups wish to thank the industries for the support and investment in stewardship measures that have been adopted.