The Metaldehyde Stewardship Group (MSG) has submitted a case to the Health and Safety Executive to extend the withdrawal period of metaldehyde from 18 to 24 months for professional slug pellet use. CPM reports.

Defra shocked the industry in December when it announced that metaldehyde will be banned – but the MSG is now calling for the withdrawal period to be extended by six months to 24 months.

Currently, sales will be banned from 30 June 2019, followed by a 12 month disposal, storage and use up period, explains David Cameron, chairman of the MSG group.

“The majority of slug pellets used in commercial agriculture are purchased and applied from August to December and therefore the current timeframe is very restrictive,” he says.

“We are calling for the sale and distribution of professional product stocks to be extended to the end of December 2019, with the disposal, storage and use up period lasting until the end of December 2020.

“This will make the total withdrawal period 24 months, providing growers with two further seasons of use and avoiding mid-season market chaos.”

Industry support

The motion has gained support from others across the industry, including The Crop Protection Association and Agricultural Industries Confederation.

“We believe this approach will encourage the most responsible withdrawal of metaldehyde products,” adds David. “Any further updates on an extended withdrawal period will be communicated as soon as possible.”