The Angling Trust AT has written to Environment minister Richard Benyon calling for the removal of the pesticide chlorpyrifos after it was found to have contaminated a 15km stretch of the Kennet canal.
The AT are not campaigning for an outright ban but for chlorpyrifos to be removed from general sale and for its use to be restricted to trained professionals only and operating under new and more stringent conditions that include restrictions on its use anywhere near watercourses of any size.
It has been estimated that as little as half a cupful poured down a local drain and entering the river via the Marlborough Sewage treatment works resulted in the almost complete wipe-out of macro invertebrates in the affected stretch.
Angling Trust Campaigns Chief's Martin Salter letter to the minister refers to the easy availability of chlorpyrifos saying:
"It took me no more than a couple of minutes to find where to order it on-line with a next day delivery for around £33.00 and there were several other suppliers advertising for domestic customers on-line. Interestingly whilst reference is made to compliance with HSE codes for the use of this chemical by professionals no such obligation appears to apply to domestic users."