The metaldehyde issue

'Get Pelletwise' is the campaign of the Metaldehyde Stewardship Group (MSG). Metaldehyde is the active ingredient contained within slug pellets that are used by the majority of UK farmers to control the pest.

In autumn 2012 metaldehyde was widely detected - in raw water - well above the drinking water standard, with peaks following rainfall. It was an exceptional season, due to high slug pressure causing a related increase in the use of slug pellets. It illustrates the importance of stewardship measures.

Whilst levels detected pose no danger to health* or the environment**, the UK’s environment agencies and DEFRA are responsible for the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). Metaldehyde exceedances must be avoided to allow water companies to meet their obligations and ensure they are not challenged with diverting supplies, or temporarily switching off water supply.

The MSG's aim is to promote and encourage best practice with metaldehyde slug pellets, to minimise environmental impacts, and, in particular, protect water.

The group is working with the farming, water and environment industries to prevent the problem recurring, and this includes the introduction of four pilot schemes.

Please get in touch to request brochures and other campaign resources.

Source: *Water UK and **Environment Agency