Metaldehyde slug pellets banned

An announcement from DEFRA has banned metaldehyde slug pellets from Spring 2020. They say "metaldehyde poses an unacceptable risk to birds and mammals." The ban will also stop farmers from creating wide spread pollution of rivers and freshwaters with these toxic pellets.
A slug in soil surrounded by leaves

Garden Organic welcomes this ban. "Growers everywhere, whether in farms, allotments or back gardens face slug and snail damage. It's probably the most disheartening sight. However, there are many ways to prevent and manage mollusc devastation when you are growing organically - without resorting to chemicals," says James Campbell, Chief Executive. "Check out our useful video, and read our advice. We help you prevent slugs devastating your plants, as well as giving ideas on traps and barriers to keep slugs and snails at bay."

If you have to resort to slug pellets, some are certified for use in organic growing (see The Organic Gardening Catalogue ). They contain ferric phosphate which will degrade harmlessly in the soil. However, these pellets also contain chemicals (used as chelators) which can be harmful to soil life. Use them sparingly, only 4 or 5 pellets per plant, and only occasionally.