7 November 1997

Poisonings down

A FALL in the number of animal poisoning incidents involving misuse of pesticides probably reflects their safer use by farmers.

The Advisory Committee on Pesticides 1996 report shows 204 incidents occurred last year, slightly down on the previous three years.

Product misuse fell sharply, from 34 to 20 cases. Kathryn Eke of the British Agrochemical Association reckons that is partly due to manufacturer stewardship schemes promoting good practice.

But deliberate abuse of pesticides remained the biggest cause of poisoning, accounting for 137 cases, up from 114.

"We are very unhappy to see those figures rising." But increased public awareness could be partly to blame, she notes. &#42