The Anglers’ Conservation Association (ACA) is today celebrating an historic decision by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) to suspend the sale of cypermethrin sheep dip in the UK, with immediate effect.  

 

Cypermethrin has caused catastrophic damage to the wildlife of river systems throughout the country.  The ACA and the Salmon & Trout Association (S&TA) jointly called for a ban as long ago as 1997 when these dips became widely used. 

 

Only after the threat of legal action from the ACA, including judicial review, and concerted political pressure from the S&TA and others has the VMD agreed to relent.

 

The ACA:

·         Used the Freedom of Information Act to force the VMD to disclose the existing Environmental Risk Assessments for cypermethrin submitted by manufacturers;

·         Fought the VMD over the right of angling interests to participate in the re-authorisation process as required under the Aarhus Convention to which the UK is a signatory;

·         Openly criticised as a sham the draft “Pollution Reduction Plan”  which the ACA argues was intended to fudge the re-authorisation process by issuing advisory information which has largely failed for at least a decade;

·         Instructed barristers to investigate bringing a multimillion pound claim directly against the manufacturers of cypermethrin sheep dip for damage to English and Welsh rivers and fishing rights.  The ACA may still pursue this claim for the severe damage that has already been caused to date.

 

Mark Lloyd, ACA Executive Director, said:

“We are delighted that many years of pollution by this sheep dip pesticide will now at last come to an end.  This decision will have enormous benefits for wildlife, rural economies and damaged fish stocks.  The process has highlighted serious shortcomings in the re-licensing process and the commitment of the VMD to public participation in decisions which affect the wider environment.  The VMD has been at best opaque in its dealings with external organisations and has at times seemed to favour the interests of manufacturers before the health of our nation’s water resources.”

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