Farm Ireland
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Wednesday 18 July 2018

Large volumes of banned poison strychnine cyanide handed in by farmers

Strychnine cyanide was included among items of hazardous waste brought by farmers to a safe disposal collection event. Stock Image
Strychnine cyanide was included among items of hazardous waste brought by farmers to a safe disposal collection event. Stock Image
Claire Fox

Claire Fox

Large volumes of deadly poisons such as strychnine cyanide were among the items dropped off by almost 2,500 farmers during the recent round of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Teagasc farm hazardous waste collections.

According to the EPA, 2,422 farmers took part in the 10 collections across the country between October and November.

EPA Scientific Officer Jane Kenneally told the Farming Independent that large volumes of banned poison strychnine cyanide were dropped off by farmers at collections and added that it's encouraging that farmers are willing to "do the right thing" to get rid of these life-threatening substances.

"We got a lot of cases of strychnine cyanide which is used to kill foxes and hares. It's been banned for years and can have devastating consequences for environmental and human health," said Ms Kenneally.

"Farmers want to do the right thing. There's always going to be a certain amount of waste in food production but the key is to manage it as safely as possible," she said.

Nearly 9,000 farmers have taken part in the collections since they began in 2013. This year 160 tonnes of waste, not including Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) products were collected.

Some 106 tonnes of that was waste oil, while the remaining 54 tonnes consisted of vet meds, persistent organic pesticides, needles and aerosols.

Ms Kenneally pointed out that farmers were willing to travel up to 40km to their nearest collection point and added that it's time that permanent hazardous waste collection points for farmers be established.

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"We have demonstrated the need for a permanent farm hazardous waste collection centre. It sits well with a lot of policies like Food Wise and Origin Green," he said.

"There are no outlets for farmers to dispose of hazardous waste and out-of-date pesticides. It has to be looked in to."

Indo Farming