Changes to 'grandfather rights' over pesticide use are bitter-sweet, says CLA

25 October 2013

Changes to so-called "grandfather rights" - exemptions to pesticide use for people above a certain age - are bitter-sweet, the CLA said today (13 June 2013).

The Association said it was concerned about a change that would mean people born before 31 December 1964 were no longer exempt from having to obtain a certificate to use pesticides.

However, successful lobbying by the CLA has limited the number of tests required to just one City and Guilds Level 2 Certificate in the Safe Use of Pesticides.

CLA President Harry Cotterell said: "We are unhappy that professionals such as grassland farmers, gamekeepers and forestry specialists will have to undergo burdensome assessments despite having the experience to show they use pesticides responsibly.

"To reduce the impact on CLA members, we have lobbied hard against these changes brought about by the European Union's Sustainable Use Directive. However, we recognise that Defra ministers were keen to implement the directive with the least impact possible."

Mr Cotterell said the changes are likely to have more impact on farms and rural businesses which occasionally use pesticides.

He added: "Instead of having to undertake separate tests that cover a range of pesticide applications, the CLA has ensured that any grandfather-rights holder will only have to take a one-off test to gain the qualification."

More details will be provided on the Voluntary Initiative website in the near future.

·         "Grandfather rights" expire on 26 November 2015.