Sinn Féin Senator Lynn Boylan has called for an end to the sale of metaldehyde slug pellets in discount stores and garden centres.
Ms Boylan raised the matter today in the Seanad with Minister Malcom Noonan.
Senator Boylan said:
“We called a biodiversity emergency in 2019, yet we have a situation where a member of the public can walk into a discount store and pick up highly toxic pellets for as little as €1.50.
“I volunteer with a hedgehog rescue that has to witness multiple hedgehogs every year coming in foaming at the mouth and suffering agonising deaths.
“It is not just hedgehogs though, metaldehyde also results in the poisoning of birds, frogs, toads and foxes. In Britain, it is estimated that at least 10 dogs a year die from ingesting pellets.
“Britain has just introduced an outright ban on metaldehyde following incontrovertible evidence of its risk to wildlife.
“Surely the least we could do here is remove this dangerous product from high street stores, and roll out a public awareness campaign that lets people know how dangerous it is to use slug pellets in their garden?
“I welcome the fact that the Minister agreed with me that these pellets are completely unnecessary for domestic use and that his department will look at a public awareness campaign to inform households on the dangers to wildlife and of the safe alternatives available.
“Most people would be unaware of how dangerous this product is when they pick it up off the shelf in a discount store.
“It was disappointing, however, that he could not give a commitment from Minister McConalogue that the products would be restricted for domestic use and that instead we will have to wait until 2023 for a full peer review of metaldehyde.”