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Toxic Sprays

Volume 931: debated on Wednesday 4 May 1977

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many prosecutions have been instituted within the last 12 months by his Department against persons accused of the misuse of toxic sprays.

None. However, the hon. Member will appreciate that misuse may create offences under legislation which is not administered by the Agriculture Departments—eg, the Health and Safety at Work, etc., Act 1974, the Air Navigation Order 1974 as amended, and the Protection of Birds Acts 1954–76. I am informed that there were no such prosecutions over this period under the first and second of these measures; and that separate records concerning pesticide prosecutions are not maintained under the third.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will seek to impose a total ban on the spraying of crops from the air with dangerous toxic chemicals.

There is no occasion for a ban of this kind because only approved chemicals can be used for aerial spraying and then only if they are applied as authorised by the Civil Aviation Authority.