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

  • Breakthrough means less pollution and lower greenhouse gas emissions

    It is a problem bedevilling households across the UK: what can we do with the mountains of food-spattered plastic waste left in our bins?

    Now a group of scientists say they have the answer – by using the detritus of domestic life to heat homes.

    Continue reading...

  • Schools should teach pupils gardening skills to instil a passion for the environment in future generations, says horticultural chief

    From the water vole to the Scottish wildcat, the dwindling numbers of Britain’s most at-risk animals are well documented. But now the alarm bell is sounding over a rather more overlooked endangered species: green-fingered children.

    Young people are so rarely spotted in gardens across Britain nowadays that the Royal Horticultural Society is warning that the country is facing a green skills crisis unless more learn to garden.

    Continue reading...

  • Australians can afford to spend more on food that meets higher animal welfare standards. It’s time to demand change from farmers

    It’s easy to argue that the intensification of animal farming puts food on the average Aussie battler’s table at a price they can afford. By suggesting we eat less meat, or better-quality meat, it’s easy to be accused of favouring the rich: perhaps only theycan afford the grass-fed, organic, free-range alternative?

    So let’s take a look at the numbers. The average Australian spends about 14% of their income on food – down from about 19% of income 30 years ago. According to government statistics, total annual expenditure on meat and seafood was only $650 per person in 2015-16 compared with $734 in 1988-89, allowing for inflation (the data for seafood and meat were compiled into one number, unfortunately). We spend less on meat than we used to, and buy more of it. So now, according to the most recent numbers available, each week households spend an average of $13.70 on vegetables and $9.60 on fresh fruit. Compare that to the $40 or more we spend each week on takeaways, fast food and confectionery. Or the 31% of our food budget we spend eating out, a 50% increase on three decades prior. Or the $13 we spend, on average, per household, per week, on our pets.

    Continue reading...

  • Even short-haul flights produce huge amounts of CO2, figures show

    Continue reading...

  • High numbers have reached UK in past six weeks and many of their offspring will emerge during Big Butterfly Count

    Wildlife lovers are being urged to help record the greatest influx of painted lady butterflies for a decade as part of the world’s largest butterfly survey.

    Unusually high numbers of the migratory butterfly have flown into Britain from continental Europe in the last six weeks and some of their offspring will emerge during the Big Butterfly Count, which starts on Friday.

    Continue reading...

  • Firebugs in Russia, monkeys in India and penguin visitors in a New Zealand sushi shop

    Continue reading...

  • Our conditions have forced us to temper our expectations, but my friend and I won’t let them stop us pursuing what we love

    A breakaway is a cycling term that refers to an individual or a small group of cyclists who have successfully opened a gap ahead of the peloton, the main group of cyclists. On 21 July, two of us are plotting a breakaway from the disease that hangs over our daily lives by tackling one of the most challenging amateur cycling events.

    The Etape du Tour, which has been running since 1993, is a chance for amateur cyclists to test their mettle on a stage of the Tour de France, riding on the same routes and under the same conditions as the professionals.

    Continue reading...

  • Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority says ‘further loss of coral is inevitable’

    The federal agency that manages the Great Barrier Reef has made an unprecedented call for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, warning only the “strongest and fastest possible action” will reduce the risks to the natural wonder.

    The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has published a climate position statement that says the reef is already damaged from warming oceans and it is “critical” global temperature rises remain within 1.5 degrees.

    Continue reading...

  • SKM Recycling says its collapse could mean 400,000 tonnes a year more waste sent to landfill

    A major recycling company feared to be at risk of going into administration has warned up to 400,000 tonnes of glass, paper, plastic and metals could be sent to landfill each year if it goes under.

    Victoria-based SKM Recycling issued the warning in a submission to a parliamentary inquiry into the waste management crisis that has grown since China introduced an effective ban on most imported recyclable materials in 2017.

    Continue reading...

  • Not only carbon dioxide but also soot released from fires has impact on global warming, study finds

    The focus on plastics in our oceans has highlighted the global problem of waste disposal. Household bin collection and the recycling, composting, burying or incinerating of our rubbish are key functions of a modern city. But in low-income countries about 90% of waste ends up in open dumps or is burned in the open air.

    Obviously, burning waste creates carbon dioxide and the smoke contains health-harmful particles, but it also contains tiny black particles of soot which have a huge short-term climate impact. Researchers from London’s King’s and Imperialcolleges burned small samples of rubbish and measured the smoke. Soot amounts were greatest when the rubbish contained two plastics: polystyrene and polyethylene terephthalate (more commonly abbreviated to PET and often used to make drinks bottles). Burning waste containing textiles, many of these being plastic, also contributed to high soot releases.

    Continue reading...

Eco Health News feeds

Eco Nature News feeds