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Medway Council to discuss banning weed killer in parks amid fears of harm to children and dogs

Weed killer may soon be banned from use by a council near children's play areas amid fears that it can cause harm.

It's also being recommended that Medway Council dilutes its use of herbicides with a mix of bio and non bio chemicals in other areas across the Towns.

Medway Council is considering banning using weed killer
Medway Council is considering banning using weed killer

The authority's green space service has been tasked to review the use of weed killers following concerns chemicals had caused some animals, particularly dogs, to become unwell or even having to be put down.

The council launched an investigation after dog owners raised concerns in the summer.

Members of the environment overview and scrutiny committee will be looking at options to change its current policy of spraying glyphosate around tree bases to control harmful plant life.

Industry specialists and the Health and Safety Executive maintain the use of the common chemical - widely used in farming, public spaces and private gardens - is safe when used as instructed.

But some pet owners in Medway claim their animals had lost both weight and fur and suffered liver disorders, skin burns and swelling after coming into contact with it.

Katie Hawkins said her Italian greyhound Lola became sick in March about the time spraying is carried out
Katie Hawkins said her Italian greyhound Lola became sick in March about the time spraying is carried out

Officers have looked at methods used in other local authorities and any other financial implications when the council's contractors Medway Norse starts its spraying season in March and April.

In their report they state: "There is currently no hard and fast information on the implications for our own health on the use of glyphosate.

"However, there are increasing concerns over its potential harm and conflicting statements from the international bodies responsible for regulating its use.

"Many environmental bodies are of the opinion that the use of glyphosate productscould be contributing to the decline of the biodiversityand that we should be taking the precautionary approach and limiting its usage."

In Medway it is used in a diluted form which is absorbed into the plant, destroying green leaves and roots of weeds.

It is now proposed to use non-biochemicals, a product made from vegetable oil and vinegar. It would lead to extra man hours as it requires three applications at an extra cost of £3,800 per year.

The matter is due to be discussed at the committee on Thursday.

Escaped animals, unusual finds and news from the RSPCA can all be found here

Read more: All the latest news from Medway

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