Emergency bid for bracken control herbicide
Published at 21:38, Wednesday, 20 June 2012
THE future for bracken control in Scotland and the rest of the UK is becoming clearer after a meeting of key stakeholders in Manchester.
The bracken control group, which includes NFU Scotland, is seeking to ensure that the essential bracken control herbicide Asulam, marketed as Asulox, remains available in the UK beyond 2012.
In 2011 Asulam was banned in the EU, principally because of concerns over its use on spinach. The herbicide is currently in a use-up period, which expires on December 31, by which time all unused stock must have been returned to the manufacturer or destroyed by an authorised company.
United Phosphorus Limited, the licence holder for the main product Asulox, has restated its commitment to investing in further trials and data collection. This is necessary to ensure it can apply for a new EU-wide authorisation.
However, this is a very lengthy process and it is essential to many Scottish hill farmers that there is a safe and practical way to control bracken in the meantime.
Asulam is currently the only safe and effective large-scale bracken control product so the group members agreed it was essential that they submit an application for temporary national emergency authorisation for it.
A representative of the Chemicals Regulation Directorate was present to explain to the group the requirements and stringent conditions of any such authorisation.
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