Pest Control and Responsibility

Published in Poisons Beware

After several years of research, we are still waiting for a responsible reaction to our concerns about the current national policy of pest control in Croatia.

The Teaching Institute for Public Health in the Split-Dalmatia County is responsible for the regulation and implementation of the pest control programme in the whole region. We received no reply to our letter of November 2017 detailing our concerns together with comprehensive evidence of the shortcomings of current practices (Croatian version here). Therefore we wrote again in January 2018, this time asking for answers to specific questions, under the Freedom of Information Law. You can read the original correspondence in Croatian here.
 
TRANSLATION OF OUR LETTER TO THE INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC HEALTH, 19TH JANUARY 2018:
 
Pitve 19.01.2018.
Mr.sc. Jasna Ninčević, dr.med.spec. epidemiolog
Nastavni zavod za javno zdravstvo, Splitsko-dalmatinske županije
21000 Split Vukovarska 46

Subject: Request for information in relation to insect and rat control on Hvar

Dear Madam,

In accordance with Article 18 of the Law on the Right to Information (N.N. 25/13), we request answers to the following questions:

1. Among the substances used for pest control on Hvar in 2017, some poisons were included which are not on the European approved list of pesticides, namely the insecticides permethrin, tetramethrin, azamethiphos, phenothrin, resmethrin, and the raticide brodifacoum.

What action are you taking to ensure that the poisons (pesticides and insecticides) used in the Republic of Croatia this year and in the future are in accordance with EU regulations?

2. In 2017, a cocktail of four poisons was used for the 'fogging' actions, consisting of three pyrethroids and an organophosphate*, of which three are not on the EU approved list. Further, such a combination is not justified by the manufacturers' instructions, nor through any scientific evidence.

Will the Institute ensure that such a cocktail is not used this year or in the future?

3. Among the substances listed for pest suppression on Hvar in 2017 was a raticide which is not on the Croatian list of approved poisons: bromadiolon (Ratimor) was banned in 2013.

Will the Institute ensure that from now on this raticide is not distributed to the general public, as it has been up to 2017?

4. Contrary to the Institute's own regulations, the raticide Ratimor has been delivered up to now in cellophane packages.

Will you ensure that from this year on, if raticide is still to be distributed to households, it is securely packed, and safe from children and pets - which would be in accordance with your own rules?

5. Up to now, the raticide has been distributed with the instructions inside the cellophane packet, and written only in Croatian.

Will you ensure that from this year on, if rat poison is distributed, that the warnings and instructions will not be in contact with the poison, and will be written in foreign languages (especially English and German), given that it is distributed to households belonging to foreigners?

6. Neonicotinoids were among the insecticides named for use on Hvar during 2017.

Were neonicotinoids applied on the island? If so, which ones, when, and where?

As certain neonicotinoids are already limited in the EU, and discussions on a further ban are in train, because of the known ill-effects of these poisons on bees and other beneficial insects, will you ensure that neonicotinoids are removed from the list of poisons used in the programme for pest control?

7. Was hot 'fogging' used on Hvar in 2017? If so, what substances were used, when and where?

8. What are the exact routes used for 'fogging' in Hvar Town and Stari Grad and their environs, and the Council areas of Jelsa and Sućuraj?

Will you ensure that from this year on the 'fogging' routes for each place are published in detail and on time (we recommend at least 7 days before the action)?

9. Where and when were larvicide actions carried out on Hvar in 2017, and which substances were used?

Will you ensure that from this year on the local population is fully informed on time of such actions?

10. Will you ensure that from this year on, warnings about pest control measures, especially the 'fogging' along public highways, will be better publicized through the media and on public noticeboards, and that the warnings will be in foreign languages as well as Croatian?

11. As poisons have been shown to be ineffective in controlling unwanted pests, and are known to cause great collateral damage, will you ensure that from this year on the use of poisons will be reduced, and other, better methods of protecting citizens from transmissible diseases will be investigated? This would be in accordance with the Law, and the Institute's own regulations.

12. For security and transparency, will you ensure that the overseer for pest control measures monitors the practices more efficiently in future, and that the report of the measures undertaken will be published and available for scrutiny?

Yours faithfully,


After some prompting, we received a reply from the Institute dated  April 12th 2018. It was depressingly short, two sentences which had no relevance at all to our two letters:

TRANSLATION OF THE REPLY FROM THE INSTITUTE, 12TH APRIL 2018:

In reply to your request for a response, we can briefly repeat what we said previously in reply to Jelsa Council's query about the Programme and Implementation Measures for the Compulsory Preventive Rat and Insect Suppression in the Jelsa area in 2017, that they were organised in accordance with the law and the current regulations. We have not observed any irregularities in the work of the contractor in the Jelsa area in 2017 which would be contrary to the Law or the Regulations, nor any significant deviation from the designated Plan and Programme in the contractor's implementation.  

Note: The letter which is referred to from the Jelsa Mayor was sent to the Institute on October 9th 2017: you can read the original in Croatian here.


Further correspondence: As the reply dated 12th April was inadequate, we sent a further request to the Institute on 16th April. As this too produced no result, we wrote again to the Institute, and informed the Commissioner of the Right to Information of the situation. The Commissioner wrote to the Institute three times, on May 9th, June 26th and August 9th, each time with a time limit for responding, Further official requests for information were sent on October 3rd 2018 and January 9th 2019,  but to date Eco Hvar has received no reply from the Institute. 

* Note: The information we received originally from the Jelsa Local Authority was not quite complete, and led to a misunderstanding on our part. The fogging was carried out in 2017 with a conbination of three pyrethroids, while the organophosphate was used in combination with a pyrethroid around the rubbish bins and dumps.


You are here: Home poisons be aware Pest Control and Responsibility

Eco Environment News feeds

  • Research in Florida finds 88% of samples have pathogen that resists at least one antibiotic

    Antibiotic resistance is rising in dolphins, researchers have said, mirroring the trend seen in humans.

    Scientists examined disease-causing organisms, or pathogens, found in samples from the blowholes, gastric fluid and faeces of bottlenose dolphins from the Indian River Lagoon in Florida. The samples were collected between 2003 and 2015.

    Continue reading...

  • Group said that Roger Hallam had been apprehended for the second time in three days

    One of Extinction Rebellion’s co-founders has been arrested for the second time in three days after trying to fly a drone near Heathrow Airport during an environmental protest, the group said.

    Roger Hallam was detained on Saturday while attempting to disrupt flights at Britain’s busiest airport with the device.

    Continue reading...

  • Tiffany Francis-Baker looks back on her six months as a Forestry Commission writer in residence – and urges us to take care of our woodlands

    For centuries, forests have been the backdrop for fairytales, folklore and fantasy. From Robin Hood to Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks to The Gruffalo, writers have been drawn to the darkness and light they find in woodland, sowing the seeds of their imagination in the fertile soil that lies beneath a canopy of rustling leaves.

    Tiffany Francis-Baker is one such writer. On 30 September, she will complete the first writer’s residency offered by the Forestry Commission in celebration of its centenary year. For the past six months, she has been visiting forests all over England, looking for inspiration for a long-form narrative poem she is writing.

    Continue reading...

  • In this extract from her latest book On Fire, the No Logo author looks at why capitalism and politics have got in the way of addressing the climate crisis

    • Interview with Naomi Klein: ‘We are seeing the beginnings of the era of climate barbarism’

    On a Friday in mid-March, they streamed out of schools in little rivulets, burbling with excitement and defiance at an act of truancy. The little streams emptied on to grand avenues and boulevards, where they combined with other flows of chanting children and teens. Soon the rivulets were rushing rivers: 100,000 bodies in Milan, 40,000 in Paris, 150,000 in Montreal. Cardboard signs bobbed above the surf of humanity: THERE IS NO PLANET B! DON’T BURN OUR FUTURE. THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE!

    There was no student strike in Mozambique; on 15 March the whole country was bracing for the impact of Cyclone Idai, one of the worst storms in Africa’s history, which drove people to take refuge at the tops of trees as the waters rose and would eventually kill more than 1,000 people. And then, just six weeks later, while it was still clearing the rubble, Mozambique would be hit by Cyclone Kenneth, yet another record-breaking storm.

    Continue reading...

  • Young activists rallied in protest of inadequate government action on the climate crisis, chanting: ‘Protect our future’

    Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg – who has inspired young people around the world to strike in protest of inadequate government action on the crisis – accompanied her American counterparts in the youth climate movement at a rally near Donald Trump’s White House on Friday.

    Thunberg quietly joined near the edge of the group, whispering along with chants and shaking her head when thanked by other advocates.

    Continue reading...

  • Noise and pollution would threaten thousands of animals in Richmond Park, group says

    The impact of thousands of newly routed flights over Richmond Park has been almost completely ignored in Heathrow airport’s environmental impact report on its plans for a third runway, campaigners have said.

    As the consultation on Heathrow’s expansion approached closure on Friday, environmental campaigners said the effect of the expansion on the biodiversity, tranquility and environment on the park had yet to be properly addressed.

    Continue reading...

  • Climate emergency activists protest against the environmental impact of the fashion industry by gluing themselves to the doors of the venue, while others lie in a pool of fake blood

    Continue reading...

  • The UK has lost a third of its natural habitats in the last 50 years. At a bee and pollination festival in Bristol, visitors celebrated public spaces and gardens as increasingly valuable for bees

    Photographs by Alex Turner

    Continue reading...

  • Telethon asking viewers to give £2.4m for forests project to help tackle climate crisis

    People in Denmark will be able to “plant trees” from the comfort of their sofa in what is believed to be the world’s first TV fundraiser for forests.

    On Saturday the national broadcaster TV2 will air Denmark Plants Trees, a two-and-a-half hour live benefit event which will ask viewers to donate funds to plant 1m trees across the country.

    Continue reading...

  • Numbers of top five species up on last year while small tortoiseshell moves north

    It has been a painted lady summer. Nearly half a million of the migratory creatures were counted in British parks and gardens as part of the biggest butterfly survey in the world.

    The painted lady topped the charts of the annual Big Butterfly Count with 420,841 recorded during high summer after their first big influx on British shores in a decade.

    Continue reading...

Eco Health News feeds

Eco Nature News feeds