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Volume 79: debated on Friday 24 May 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Transport what steps are being taken to restrict the application of pesticides from the air.

Only chemicals which are specifically cleared for aerial application under the pesticides safety precautions scheme may be used for this purpose; these exclude the most toxic and persistent chemicals. The Civil Aviation Authority is responsible under article 40 of the Air Navigation Order 1980 for the control of aerial crop spraying. It has recently reviewed and strengthened the requirements it imposes on operators, in particular the procedures designed to keep spray to the target area. The distance which must be kept from houses has been increased from 75ft to 200ft, for example, and operators must confine the application of chemicals to the area to be treated. The authority will not hesitate to prosecute if it has satisfactory evidence that the procedures laid down have not been followed.