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Volume 125: debated on Friday 15 January 1988

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what specific steps he is taking to make sure that farmers and agricultural workers are aware of the new controls on the use of pesticides, as from 1 January.

My Department has distributed some 200,000 copies to date of the leaflet "Pesticides—Guide to the New Controls", which will continue to be made available at suitable agricultural shows and events. This will be supplemented before this year's spraying season with a further publication drawing particular attention to the measures coming into force in both 1988 and 1989. We plan to publish at about the same time a revised list of centres providing training appropriate to certification requirements for pesticides users. We will also be publishing a new draft of a code of practice for the agricultural and horticultural industry.The Ministry's publicity efforts are not being carried out in isolation. The Agricultural Training Board and the proficieny tests councils are giving prominence to the training requirements and many sections of the industry are helping to get the message across.