This petition calls for garden centres to agree not to sell metaldehyde slug pellets which harm wildlife, in particular the declining population of hedgehogs. It calls for members of the public who care about wildlife, to boycott garden centres who do not subscribe to the voluntary code.
Why is this important?
In December 2018, Michael Gove, as Secretary of State for DEFRA, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs banned the sale of metaldehyde slug pellets after 30 June 2019. After this date they should have vanished from garden centre shelves. Wildlife campaigners, who recognise the harm done to hedgehogs by slug pellets, were overjoyed.
Philip Tavener of Chiltern Farm Chemicals, manufacturer of metaldehyde slug pellets, took the legal action to bring Mr Gove’s decision before the High Court. The High court has ruled on a technicality, that Mr Gove's actions were unlawful, and has overturned DEFRA's decision. This means that the sale of metaldehyde slug pellets is once again legal and wildlife, in particular the hedgehog population, is once again at risk.
There is no need for these pellets to be used in gardens. There are safer, ferric phosphate pellets and biological controls in the form of nematode worms watered into the soil.