Defra brings back slug pesticide ban

Metaldehyde, a pesticide used to control slugs and which can enter water catchments, will be banned from outdoor use in Great Britain from the end of March 2022, farming minister Victoria Prentis announced last week.

Defra said the decision took into account advice from the UK Expert Committee on Pesticides and the Health and Safety Executive about the risks that metaldehyde poses to birds and mammals. It added that growers and gardeners have been given nearly two years to switch to alternative slug control measures.

In December 2018, a Defra ruling withdrew from the market all products containing metaldehyde with immediate effect and banned their use on farm from 2020. But the decision by former Defra secretary Michael Gove was declared unlawful by the court and the ban overturned.