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Harmful metaldehyde slug pellets to be banned due to impact on wildlife

28th September 2020

Following a previous ban which was overturned, metaldehyde is once again set to be banned from spring 2022.

The ban is good news for hedgehogs and other wildlife. This dangerous chemical enters the food chain via slugs but can cause secondary poisoning of hedgehogs and birds.

Metaldehyde has long been used to control slugs and other gastropods on agricultural land. Although hedgehogs don’t consume the pellets directly, toxicity can build up as they consume slugs containing the substance. The chemical is also dangerous for some birds which also feed on slugs and snails.

The ban comes into effect in spring 2022, allowing farmers and homeowners time to swap to a suitable alternative.

Effective field margin and hedgerow management can help with pest control on farmland. Read more about helping rural hedgehogs in our Helping Hedgehogs on your Land guide. Plus here’s some ideas for safe slug control in your garden.