Many gardeners and householders are still storing pesticides that are no longer approved for use or even storage in the UK.
“These substances can be a danger to wildlife and domestic pets,” said detective constable David Flint of the Metropolitan Police Service’s Wildlife Crime Unit.
Storing them or even disposing of them in wheelie bins, down sinks or drains is illegal, he said, urging householders to contact their local authority for information on disposing of pesticides safely.
The dangers have been highlighted in the past fortnight, with the conviction of one man and a formal caution for another after they admitted laying illegal poisonous baits, which included a chemical that is illegal in the UK. Some of the bait was eaten by a police dog helping in the search for a missing child in north London. The dog died.
The police teamed up with officials from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs to handle the investigation.
The Pesticide Action Network UK is an independent non-profit-making group, highlighting the hazards of pesticides and promoting alternatives. National project officer Dr Roslyn McKendry said: “Householders with unwanted pesticides should not panic. They must get rid of them urgently but can find out where to dispose of them safely and legally on our website at www.pesticidedisposal.org.”
Nurseries and garden centres can also get advice from the website, although they are unlikely to be offered a free disposal service.
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