Enhanced metaldehyde stewardship launched for 2017

The Metaldehyde Stewardship Group has launched an enhanced campaign for 2017 to ensure maximum protection of the environment, and in particular birds, small mammals, and water.

Speaking at the launch event, Simon McMunn, spokesman for the Metaldehyde Stewardship Group (MSG), explained why the campaign has evolved, and what this means for UK agriculture.  

“It’s important to note that water stewardship remains vital and is still very much at the heart of the campaign,” he explained.

“However, an issue that’s distinct from the water quality is that metaldehyde products are undergoing re-registration. And the regulatory risk assessment, which forms part of this process, has revealed a requirement for increased protection of birds and small mammals.

“Because of this, stewardship is now a CRD-agreed condition of metaldehyde product availability and regulators will be monitoring the campaign success closely.

“This means it’s more important than ever for the industry to pull together and follow stewardship advice, to help preserve the future of the active ingredient, which remains a key tool in slug control.”

The MSG highlighted four stewardship steps that should be implemented.

“Firstly, there is a new guideline for 2017 which states that no pellets should be allowed to fall within a minimum of 10 metres of any field boundary or watercourse,” explained Simon.

“The buffer was previously six metres and it only applied to watercourses. However, increasing it to 10 metres of all field boundaries will help protect birds and small mammals, and provide additional protection to water,” he added.  

“Secondly, with the view of helping to minimise slug infestations and reduce the need for treatment, metaldehyde slug pellets must only be used as part of a wider Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programme.