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.  

* 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

  • Survey of 600 people finds some parents regret having offspring for same reason

    People worried about the climate crisis are deciding not to have children because of fears that their offspring would have to struggle through a climate apocalypse, according to the first academic study of the issue.

    The researchers surveyed 600 people aged 27 to 45 who were already factoring climate concerns into their reproductive choices and found 96% were very or extremely concerned about the wellbeing of their potential future children in a climate-changed world. One 27-year-old woman said: “I feel like I can’t in good conscience bring a child into this world and force them to try and survive what may be apocalyptic conditions.”

    Continue reading...

  • The best of the week’s wildlife pictures from around the world, including desert-dwelling sheep and a plant that has evolved to hide from humans

    Continue reading...

  • With nearly 400,000 crew members trapped at sea by Covid restrictions, it’s time for retailers like Amazon to help press for key worker status

    This weekend is one of the planet’s busiest shopping sprees, with an estimated £66bn to be spent in the UK alone over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, much of it online. Yet as shoppers click and wait to collect, there is a crisis at sea among the people whose work brings us these goods.

    It is no exaggeration to say that without shipping the global marketplace would collapse. It is responsible for the movement of 90% of all global trade. Even in normal circumstances, more than a million seafarers labour daily on the vessels that make up the world cargo fleet, their work barely noticed by consumers. As Covid-19 has ravaged the world, they have helped keep the global economy functioning, unseen.

    Continue reading...

  • Amitav Ghosh, Margaret Atwood and Emma Thompson are among 20 activists and cultural figures to speak at Writers Rebel event

    Writers and activists including Emma Thompson, Margaret Atwood and Amitav Ghosh are to speak about their favourite endangered animals as part of a remembrance day for lost species.

    The snow leopard, pangolin and vaquita porpoise are among the endangered animals that will be championed by participants at the free online event, On the Brink, organised by Writers Rebel, which is part of Extinction Rebellion.

    Continue reading...

  • Public accounts committee says ignorance, incompetence and weak oversight to blame

    The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has a perpetual lack of knowledge about the state and location of waste on the 17 sites it is responsible for making safe, a powerful committee of MPs has found.

    This results from decades of poor record keeping and weak government oversight, the MPs said. Combined with a “sorry saga” of incompetence and failure, this has left taxpayers footing the bill for “astronomical sums”, they said.

    Continue reading...

  • Industry promotes materialism and lifts sales of climate-harming products, study says

    Advertising needs to be controlled and changed to reduce its impact on the climate, according to a report released as consumers prepare to spend billions on Black Friday.

    The report by the New Weather Institute thinktank and the charity We are Possible examines how advertising indirectly contributes to climate change and the ecological emergency.

    Continue reading...

  • The winning images of the 2020 British Ecological Society photography competition, taken by international ecologists and students, celebrate the diversity of the planet’s flora and fauna

    Continue reading...

  • An investigation into the Queen Hind sinking a year ago is yet to be published and the live export trade continues to boom

    Romania has been accused of “complete silence” over its investigation into the sinking of the Queen Hind last November, which resulted in the deaths of more than 14,000 sheep.

    Rescuers who rushed to the sinking Queen Hind vessel, which left Romania’s Black Sea port of Midia a year ago, managed to save just 228 sheep out of a total 14,600, but only 180 ultimately survived the ordeal.

    Romania’s prime minister Ludovic Orban vowed on television last year to end live exports in the “medium-term”. However, since the Queen Hind disaster more than 2 million live animals have been exported from Romania – mostly to north Africa and the Middle East.

    Romanian authorities have claimed the vessel was 10% below capacity and that the animals were “clinically healthy and fit for transport”. But campaigners say the vessel was overloaded and this ultimately led to the thousands of sheep drowning in the Black Sea.

    The only information to emerge since the sinking has been the discovery of secret compartments onboard with dead animals inside, by the company hired to remove the ship from the water.

    Romania’s transport ministry told the Guardian this week that investigations are concluded and said a summary of the report will be published on the ministry’s website. They also said that the purpose of the technical investigation was to establish maritime safety issues and to prevent future accidents, and “not to establish guilt in people involved”.

    EU law stipulates that investigations into maritime accidents should be reported in full within 12 months, but that if a final report is not possible in that timeframe, then “an interim report shall be published within 12 months of the date” of the event.

    Continue reading...

  • Report suggests tree growth will not store nearly as much carbon as scientists hoped

    Global heating appears to be making trees drop their leaves earlier, according to new research, confounding the idea that warmer temperatures delay the onset of autumn.

    The finding is important because trees draw huge amounts of carbon dioxide from the air and therefore play a key role in managing the climate.

    Continue reading...

  • Oyster Clough, Derbyshire: A decade ago, I wouldn’t have mentioned it in print, but now the number of visitors has soared

    The true start of winter is often debated, but none of the definitions I know include mid-November. That didn’t stop a razor-edged northerly blowing off the moors from knifing me in the ribs. I stopped to put on my spare jacket, but it seemed hopelessly unequal to the job. “Is that all you brought?” my companion asked. Luckily for me, by the time we emerged from the woods above the Snake Inn into bright sunshine, the wind had moderated. But the sky above was still cold-forged with that intense blue of winter, tinged pink in places in the low-angled light.

    Continue reading...

Eco Health News feeds

Eco Nature News feeds

Feed not found.