Landowners have welcomed an emergency authorisation from DEFRA that will make the herbicide Asulam available for bracken control in the UK this year. The product, which was taken off the shelves at the end of 2012, is currently banned throughout the EU.

The emergency authorisation is in place for 2013 only, with the ban officially being lifted on 20 May to allow for the distributor, United Phosphorus Ltd, to market and distribute the product. Asulam may be used from 1 July with a use-up period that will last until 31 October. The product may only be used on bracken — previously it could be used on other invasive plants such as docks.

The Heather Trust’s Simon Thorp, who co-ordinated the Bracken Control Group, which submitted the application for an emergency authorisation, said in a satement: “This is a fantastic result for the Bracken Control Group. It is a great relief that the emergency authorisation will provide an ability to continue existing bracken control programmes, and even start new ones.”

The rest of this article appears in the 6th March issue of Shooting Times.

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