Industry to lobby MEPs over pesticides ban

NEXT week, the environment committee of the European Parliament will consider a proposal which, if it is carried through, will remove almost 95 per cent of all the current pesticides used in the control of rats and mice.

Ahead of the debate, Hazel Doonan, head of the crop protection sector, Agricultural Industries Confederation, which represents most trading merchants in the UK, said members were very concerned about the proposal.

"Anticoagulants account for 95 per cent of all rodenticides used in Europe, and their withdrawal would pose significant issues in the UK supply chain from feed mill and seed plant to farms and on to primary food processors.

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"Without adequate control measures, rodents can consume crops in the field and store, contaminate grain, destroy quality, spread disease to man and livestock and damage the fabric of buildings and installations."

She confirmed that AIC would be lobbying UK MEPs ahead of a vote next week on the consequences of a ban.

One MEP who will need no lobbying is Struan Stevenson, who sits on the environment committee. He labelled the proposal as "just plain crazy" and said it was typical of the ill thought-out plans that give the EU a bad name.

NFU Scotland is also on the case, with policy director Scott Walker pointing out the dangers of removing such an effective pesticide without having a proper scientific background or an impact assessment.

It will also be using its Brussels office, BAB, to lobby MEPs.