The scheme to get rid of illegal pesticides which could be used to poison wildlife will close on 29 May 2015, Environment Minister Dr Aileen McLeod announced today.
The pesticides disposal scheme allows those who know, or suspect they are in possession of certain pesticides which are illegal, to dispose of them safely and confidentially.
To date, more than 80 requests for collection and disposal have already been accepted through the scheme. The most common requests have been for Sodium Cyanide and Strychnine.
There have also been five requests for disposal of Mevinphos, which has been banned since the early 1990s and five requests for disposal of Carbofuran, with more than 80kg accepted for collection so far.
Dr McLeod said:
“Since it was launched on 23 February, the pesticides disposal scheme has resulted in the removal of some extremely dangerous substances from our environment. By helping to dispose of them now, we are ensuring these stocks can never be used in the future to illegally target Scotland’s wildlife.
“I would encourage people to carefully and safely check sheds and outbuildings for old stocks of illegal substances. If you are, or think you may be, in possession of illegal pesticides, I strongly encourage you to phone the disposal scheme line before it closes on 29 May.
“Tackling wildlife crime is a key priority for the Scottish Government. We have the strongest wildlife legislation in the UK, and in the last few months we have seen the first ever custodial sentence for the killing of birds of prey and the first conviction of a land owner under the vicarious liability provisions, for crimes committed in 2012. Arrangements are also in place for SNH to restrict the use of general licences where there is evidence of wildlife crime. I believe this sends out a clear message to those who continue to illegally target Scotland’s wildlife that their actions will not be tolerated.”
Rob Livesey, Vice-President of NFU Scotland said:
“It is imperative that any farmer and crofter with one of these products acts now to get it disposed of free of charge and anonymously via the scheme. We understand that it is a very busy time of year, but it would be great to see a surge of enquiries during the last month so that as much is taken out of circulation as possible. Don’t delay, call today.”
Dr Colin Shedden, Director of BASC Scotland said:
“We are pleased that a considerable amount of dangerous material has been removed from the countryside as a result of this Scottish Government initiative.”
“Nobody has any reason or right to possess any of the pesticides covered by this disposal scheme. It is in the interest of everyone’s safety, including those who even suspect that they might have banned pesticides, to get in touch and arrange the safe and free disposal afforded by this scheme.”
Alex Stoddart of SACS said:
“SACS are delighted with the success of the pesticides disposal scheme, which has enabled the safe removal of significant quantities of these dangerous chemicals. We strongly encourage anyone who believes they have any material of this nature to contact the disposal scheme helpline before 29th May. Though often a legacy of old, but long-abandoned practices, there is no place for these chemicals in the environment and we fully support this PAW initiative.”
Scottish Gamekeepers Association Chairman Alex Hogg said:
“This has been a very worthwhile scheme, as the take-up proves. It is likely there are people out there who, until now, have had no way of identifying or safely disposing of chemicals which should no longer be held. We hope even more pesticides are collected before this month’s deadline.”
Douglas McAdam of Scottish Land & Estates said:
"With the volume and range of material that has been removed through this disposal scheme, it has undoubtedly been a worthwhile success. Now that the announced deadline of the scheme is looming, we would urge anyone who has not yet taken action to search old sheds and stores to do so without delay and make use of this opportunity to dispose of these dangerous materials."
The following table gives a breakdown of the number of requests for collection and disposal which have been accepted through the scheme so far. Collections are taking place on a regular basis, and more than half of those listed below have already been carried out at the time of writing.
Pesticide (Active Ingredient) Number of Accepted Requests
Sodium Cyanide - 44
Strychnine - 30
Aluminium Phosphide - 8
Mevinphos - 5
Carbofuran - 5
(Alpha)Chloralose - 4
Unknown - 2
Aldicarb - 1
Carbosulfan - 0
Isofenphos - 0
Bendiocarb - 0
Total substances accepted - 99
Total number of collections - 86
The following pesticides are being accepted through the scheme:
Sodium cyanide (known as Cymag)
Most types of Bendiocarb
Banned or expired formulations of Chloralose, especially those containing more than 5% Chloralose (weaker ready-to-use formulations are still legally sold for indoor rodent control); and
Banned or expired Aluminium Phosphide products.
Anyone who believes they are in possession of any of these banned pesticides should contact the disposal scheme line on 0131 472 4187. The line will remain open 8.30am-4.30pm Monday to Friday, until 4.30pm on 29 May 2015. Before calling, users are asked to make a note of which banned pesticides they have, and check whether these are included in the scheme using the guide on the PAW Scotland website. Members of any of the organisations supporting the scheme can also contact them directly for further advice before phoning the disposal scheme line.
The pesticides included in this scheme are highly toxic and many are lethal to humans and animals, even in small quantities. Extreme caution should be exercised if searching premises for banned pesticides; suitable gloves must be worn, and make sure that adequate lighting exists to enable you to assess the condition of the container before touching it. Mevinphos can kill merely upon contact with skin. If in doubt, further advice should be sought before any search is carried out. Exposed chemicals or leaking containers should never be touched or moved except by suitably qualified professionals.
Further details of substances that will be accepted, and how to make use of the scheme, are available on the PAW Scotland website – www.PAW.Scotland.gov.uk.
The scheme is supported by the British Association for Shooting & Conservation Scotland, Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, National Farmers Union Scotland, Scottish Association for Country Sports, Scottish Crofting Federation, Scottish Gamekeepers Association and Scottish Land & Estates.