Ban the possession of dangerous pesticides in Northern Ireland

Ban the possession of dangerous pesticides in Northern Ireland

7 July 2023
Signatures: 41,967Next Goal: 50,000
527 people signed this week

Why this petition matters

Started by Raptor Officer NI

Pesticides which have been deemed toxic to non-target plants and animals have been banned for use across many countries, including Northern Ireland. However, although ‘banned for use’, these dangerous substances are still being used, unlawfully, to target protected birds of prey.

There have been 64 confirmed incidents of abuse of banned or highly toxic chemicals to target birds of prey in Northern Ireland since 2009. However, prosecutions are notoriously difficult to attain because unless an individual is actually seen to be laying out a poisoned bait, it is virtually impossible to determine who laid the bait that subsequently kills a protected species. To date, we are not aware of any successful prosecutions for poisoning protected wildlife in Northern Ireland.

Scotland faced a similar problem with illegal wildlife poisoning so in 2005 it introduced new legislation making it an offence to be ‘in possession’ of certain banned substances (Possession of Pesticides (Scotland) Order 2005). The substances listed were those known to be used to illegally target birds of prey. This legislation has led to the successful prosecution of many individuals who were found to be in possession of the named banned substances, for example where it was discovered in their vehicles, at their work premises and even in their homes. Not only has the poison been confiscated and destroyed, these prosecutions have doubtless saved the lives of countless species and raptors that otherwise would have been targeted.

The banned pesticides are not just a threat to wildlife and the wider environment; many of them can have fatal consequences for any human (adult or child) who happens to inadvertently come into contact with them, for example by touching a poisonous bait laid out in the countryside.

In light of the most recent illegal poisoning of two young white-tailed eagles in County Antrim in May 2023, we are seeking an urgent review of the use of banned pesticides to kill wildlife in Northern Ireland, leading to the creation of a new law which prohibits the ‘possession’ of named, highly toxic poisons.

If a pesticide has already been banned for use on the basis of its toxicity and threat to humans, wildlife and the wider environment, there can be no justification for keeping it.

Please help our campaign by signing this petition (you don’t have to be a resident of Northern Ireland to sign). Thank you.

The poisons we would like to see prohibited for possession are:

·        Aldicarb

·        Alphachloralose

·        Aluminium phosphide

·        Bendiocarb

·        Carbofuran

·        Mevinphos

·        Sodium cyanide

·        Strychnine

·        Chlorpyriphos

·        Diazinon


527 people signed this week
Signatures: 41,967Next Goal: 50,000
527 people signed this week