Scotland Denies It Plans to Poison Fish, For Now
Some chemicals are too toxic to use. This is the case with the insecticide imidacloprid, which was banned by the EU for use on crops, and which U.S. government scientists have described as “very toxic to aquatic life with long-lasting effects.” And yet this spring the Scottish government was racing toward approving its use in salmon factory fish farms to treat sea lice, from where it could easily spill into rivers and the ocean causing untold damage.
Luckily, and likely in response to a firestorm of criticism it received from activist groups, the Scottish government has clarified that "there is no planned imminent approval" of the chemical Imidacloprid for use on its salmon factory farms. However, the language leaves room for the country to attempt to force this through quietly down the road. But for the time being, we can call this a win for the animals and the Earth.
There is no question that imidacloprid and other related neonicotinoids are extremely dangerous compounds. This class of toxic insecticides affects the nervous systems of insects, humans, and other animals and they are extremely deadly to many species, causing painful deaths, similar to those of chemical weapon nerve agents banned for use in war zones.
These compounds, which have been linked to declines in species of invertebrates, birds, and fish, catastrophic losses of bees and other pollinators, and harm to animal companions, are far too dangerous to roll the dice with. We will be keeping an eye on this issue to ensure Scotland does not reverse course on this crucial issue.
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