A High Court order has overturned the decision to ban metaldehyde slug pellet products, with immediate effect.
The High Court has approved an order, agreed this week by the company that challenged the legality of the ban, that formally overturns the December 2018 Defra ruling to withdraw all products containing metaldehyde, with immediate effect.
The legal basis of Defra’s withdrawal decision required the former Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Gove to form his own view on the impact of the metaldehyde products on non-target species, but he did not do so.
Philip Tavener of Chiltern Farm Chemicals, who took the legal action to bring Michael Gove’s decision before the High Court says: “A few days before a hearing was due to take place in the High Court, the government conceded that its decision-making process was flawed. The decision was unlawful.
“Metaldehyde is back on the market and we’ve reverted to where we were eight months ago.
“The sell-out and use-up periods previously put in place no longer apply; it’s business as usual.”
Taking the metaldehyde status back to pre December 2018, the Court’s order confirms that the applications for product re-authorisation remain outstanding, and Defra are required to decide afresh as to whether to grant re-authorisation for the products or to revoke the existing authorisations, in accordance with Article 46 of the EC Regulation.