A thorough system of administration has been put in place to control the advertisement, sale, storage, supply and use of pesticides. Wherever possible guidance and advice is given to prevent the rules being breached. However, when appropriate, enforcement is achieved by means of prosecution and the issuing of enforcement notices.
Compliance and Enforcement Framework
Regulatory Update 25/2012 provides information to local Authorities on the delegation of enforcement powers for the purposes of enforcing the Plant Protection Products Regulations 2011 and the Plant Protection Products (Sustainable Use) Regulations 2012.
Farmers and growers are required by law to take all reasonable precautions when using pesticides to protect the health of human beings, creatures and the environment. Advice on how to meet their responsibilities under this legislation is given in the statutory ‘Code of Practice for Using Plant Protection Products’
Responsibilities for Enforcement
Responsibility for enforcement is shared between the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), local authorities and the Agriculture Departments.
The HSE are authorised to enforce controls on the storage and use of pesticides as part of the work activity such as by industrial users in the treatment of timber, in private dwellings by professional contractors, use in agriculture and the storage of pesticides by certain distributors, and use by Local Authorities and public utilities. They are also responsible for the use of pesticides as part of a work activity in private dwellings.
Local authorities enforce controls in respect of the advertisement, sale, supply, storage and use for those areas not under HSE's jurisdiction, such as wholesale and retail premises, hotels and residential accommodation, warehouses, museums, catering establishments, sports grounds (including golf courses), gardens, parks and garden centres. Local authority responsibility is usually split between trading standard officers, who are responsible for consumer aspects of advertising, sale and supply and environmental health officers, who undertake enforcement in respect of storage and use in areas not covered by the HSE. Some Local Authorities, however, combine these functions.
Public Register of Enforcement Notices
Incidents Involving People
If anyone believes that they have been adversely affected by pesticides they should report the matter immediately. Further information on how to report incidents of exposure to pesticides.
The Pesticide Incident Appraisal Panel
The HSE Pesticide Incident Appraisal Panel (PIAP) considers all investigated incidents where the agricultural use of pesticides may have affected a person’s health. The Panel receives full information about each incident, including a report of the field investigations carried out by HSE together with the results of any medical investigation and the known or suspected adverse effects of the chemical involved. If evidence does emerge concerning the safety of a particular product then the approval of that product can be reviewed and could result in its approval being restricted or even revoked.
Annual Questionnaire On The Possible Effects of Pesticides on Human Health
Approval holding companies are under an on-going obligation to submit immediately any new information on the potentially dangerous effects of a product or of residues of an active substance contained in a product, on human or animal health, ground water or the environment. In order to check whether this reporting system is functioning effectively CRD (previously PSD) carries out a survey of all human health incidents reported to Approval Holders each year. Further Information on Human Health Questionnaire.
Further Information on Reporting Incidents
The Agriculture Departments are responsible for the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS), which monitors the impact of agricultural pesticides on wildlife. Where incidents are caused by misuse or abuse of pesticides, enforcement action is taken where appropriate. Offenders are prosecuted whenever sufficient evidence is available.
In support of the WIIS, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Joint Nature Conservancy Council, run the Campaign Against Illegal Poisoning. This Campaign has three objectives:
- to advise farmers, gamekeepers and other land managers on legal ways of controlling pests;
- to advise the public on how to report illegal poisoning incidents and to respect the need for legal alternatives; and
- to investigate incidents and prosecute offenders.
As well as producing a wide selection of publicity material to promote these aims, the Campaign has also established a freephone number (0800 321 600) on which members of the public can report suspected poisoning incidents directly to government investigators. This ensures a quick and effective response. Since the Campaign was launched in 1991, many successful prosecutions have been taken.
The Campaign Against Illegal Poisoning of Animals
The Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme
If you think people, animals or the environment have been harmed by exposure to pesticides guidance on Reporting Incidents is available.
Enforcement Monitoring of Pesticides
Enforcement monitoring is carried out to ensure that residue levels do not exceed the legal level and also to indicate if there have been any incidents of misuse of pesticides.