Farm Fined for Unlawful Use of Dangerous Poison

Norfolk farming firm T Long and Company Limited has been prosecuted for putting workers and members of the public at risk from a dangerous poison being used to control rabbits.

The company was prosecuted for unlawfully using Phostoxin, a compound of Aluminium Phosphide used as vertebrate control agent. Phostoxin is classed as highly flammable, very toxic and dangerous to the environment.

Both Natural England and Rentokil pest controllers identified approximately 56 treated burrows in a garden and on a public lane alongside a property. There had been no precautions taken to inform or protect either the householder or members of the public from risks to their health from possible exposure to Phostoxin.

A Health and Safety Executive investigation (HSE) found that the workers using the Phostoxin did not have the appropriate competence or certificates to apply the product and were not properly trained or supervised. They had not been provided with or wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

T Long and Company Limited of Whitehall Farm, Crownthorpe pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. They were fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,967.10 along with a victim surcharge of £120, giving a total payment of £20,087.10.

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