Insects Wanted!

Published in Insects Wanted!

Eco Hvar's campaign against the indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides against unwanted insects and other 'pests' began many years ago. In Croatia, by law, unwanted pests which are potentially health-harming have to be limited or preferably eliminated. However, current practices, both by public authorities and individuals are causing a mass extermination of insects and interdependent wildlife, which is nothing short of catastrophic. And, by law, this should not be happening.

As from the summer of 2017, Eco Hvar has been writing to relevant Ministries, Institutes and local Authorities, pointing out deficiencies in the practice of the Pest Suppression Programme. By the summer of 2018, reactions from the Minister for Health and various sections of his Ministry, including the Split-Dalmatia County Institute for Public Health, made it clear that our evidence was being ignored because the Ministry's Inspectors had not reported that anything in the practice was amiss. Clearly the Ministry Inspectors were not observing the practices from the same standpoint as us.

Our researches and observations revealed that there were many failings in the practices which should have been controlled by the Directive for the Implementation of the Pest Suppression Programme.

The urgent changes which we are seeking:

1. revision of the Directive (NN 76/12) Clause 2 Article 10, to exclude items 2-7, which make all insects possible targets for suppression; this would revert to the intentions of the original Law (NN 60/92);

2. the work of the Inspectors for the implementation of the Insect Suppression Programme should be more strictly monitored;

3. 'fogging' actions should be advertised openly, clearly and transparently, with the warnings in other languages besides Croatian;

4. poisons to be used for widespread applications across public areas should be identified and listed, together with their possible ill-effects;

5. the exact route of the 'fogging' vehicle should be published;

6. rodenticides should not be delivered free of charge to the general public as a matter of course;

7. rat poisons which are delivered on request should be in secure, numbered boxes, and a record kept of the recipient;

8. the poisons should be identified and listed, together with their possible ill-effects, and all instructions should be in other languages besides Croatian;

9. the company which is authorized to distribute rat poisons must collect the boxes after use;

10. all chemical poisons authorized for use in Croatia should be clearly identified together with their possible ill-effects in every type of information service and in all places where they are sold;

11. that attention should be given to the key issue of educating all those who use the various chemical pesticides as to their possible ill-effects;

12. that better, environmentally acceptable methods of suppressing unwanted 'pests' should be identified and used.    

We have based our observations on Hvar, because we have first-hand experience here. However, overuse of chemical pesticides is a nationwide problem, which is causing widespread harm to both people and the environment in our beautiful country. So we hope that the need for change is finally recognised, and better practices are implemented as a matter of urgency. This would be in the best interests of our beloved country.

© Vivian Grisogono 2018

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