The Metaldehyde Stewardship Group (MSG) comprising manufacturers and distributors of the molluscicide is calling for a more commercially realistic withdrawal period for the product.

Defra announced last December that the active ingredient is be withdrawn, allowing it to be marketed until June 30th 2019, followed by a 12 month disposal, storage and use-up period to the end of June 2020.

But the MSG is seeking the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)’s agreement to extend the withdrawal period from 18 to 24 months for professional use metaldehyde slug pellet products. The move is backed by the AIC and Crop Protection Association.

“The majority of slug pellets used in commercial agricultural situations are purchased and applied from August to December and therefore the current timeframe is very restrictive,” says David Cameron, managing director of De Sangosse who chairs the MSG. “We are calling for the sale and distribution of professional product stocks to be extended to the end of December 2019, with the disposal, storage and use-up period lasting until the end of December 2020.

“This will make the total withdrawal period 24 months, providing growers with two further seasons of use and avoid mid-season market chaos. We believe this approach will encourage the most responsible withdrawal of metaldehyde products.”