WIIS Quarterly Reports

View WIIS Quarterly Reports

The results of incidents involving pesticides have, until now, been published quarterly in January, April, July and October.  It is now our intention that the results of all incidents reported to SASA will be available in a searchable spreadsheet which will still be published quarterly.  However, due to the nature of some incidents and the investigations relating to these it may be necessary to limit the information published.  We will publish updates to such cases as further information becomes available.  This new reporting format will replace SASA publication of the annual Pesticide Poisoning of Animals Report – A Report of Investigations in Scotland.

To make the information clearer all reported incidents will now identify whether the pesticides found in an incident were the principle cause of the incident or present at background or trace levels only.  The information will be presented as follows: 

Pesticide involved: An investigation into the circumstances of the case concluded that these pesticide(s) were the principle cause.

Other Pesticides found: An investigation into the circumstances of the case concluded that these pesticide(s) were present, but were at background or trace levels only.

The categories

From 2013 information regarding the categories will also be clearer and where appropriate provide additional information as it relates to the results.  For example, where the death of an animal is from a cause other than pesticide poisoning and the other cause is known this will be reported under additional information. The categories used to classify pesticide poisoning incidents are:

Approved use: An investigation into the circumstances of the case concluded that the pesticide(s) involved were used in accordance with their conditions of authorisation. Where an animal is involved the cause of death has been established as pesticide poisoning.

Misuse: An investigation into the circumstances of the case concluded that the pesticide(s) involved were not used in accordance with their conditions of authorisation.  The pesticides involved may have been used carelessly or accidently but there was no indication of any intention to deliberately harm wildlife or other animals. Where an animal is involved the cause of death has been established as pesticide poisoning.

Abuse: An investigation into the circumstances of the case concluded that the pesticide(s) involved had been used in breach of their authorisation conditions and that this has been done with the deliberate intent of harming or attempting to harm wildlife or other animals. Where an animal is involved the cause of death has been established as pesticide poisoning.

Unspecified: An investigation into the circumstances of the case could not establish where the pesticide may have come from and therefore if the pesticide(s) involved were used in accordance with their conditions of authorisation; if the pesticide had been misused or whether or not there was a deliberate intention to harm wildlife or other animals. Where an animal is involved the cause of death has been established as pesticide poisoning.

Unknown: The cause of death has not been established as pesticide poisoning; an investigation into the circumstances of the case could not establish a cause of harm or death and found no evidence of the involvement of pesticides.

It is not always possible to establish that pesticides are involved in a case reported under the scheme; this may be because samples are not available for chemical analysis or because the results of analysis are inconclusive.  Where a case is classified as unknown and this was due to a problem with the availability or quality of samples this will be reported under additional information.

Other cause: The cause of death has not been established as pesticide poisoning; an investigation into the circumstances of the case found no evidence of the involvement of pesticides and was able to attribute another probable cause.

Where a case is accepted into the scheme and another cause of death is identified it is less likely that samples will be tested for the full range of chemical analyses, although analysis may still be undertaken in cases where pesticides are strongly suspected.  Where a case is classified as “Other cause” the cause of death will be identified as far as possible and will be reported under additional information. Other causes include trauma (road traffic accidents, shooting, etc.), disease or starvation.

Not applicable: An investigation into the circumstances of the case was not able to establish a link to pesticide use.  No wildlife or other animals were involved and any suspected baits or other samples contained no detectable pesticide residues.

Veterinary use: Where it is established that veterinary products are involved in a case. These cases are not formally included in the WIIS scheme but are recorded as some actives substances in veterinary products are also found in pesticides.  Cases involving veterinary products are categorised separately under the scheme and their use is not classified into abuse, misuse, approved use or unspecified use.

Species or Samples involved:  The species or samples that are collected or identified as involved in the case.  Samples collected and analysed under the scheme include the bodies of wildlife and animals, which may be sent for post mortem and associated tests, tissue and other samples sent for chemical analysis, and samples of baits and suspicious substances.  Samples also include beneficial insects (bees) which may be assessed for disease and analysed for pesticide residues.  All available information, including the result of the analysis of samples, is taken into account in assigning cases to a category.

For results prior to 2013 information will continue to be present in the old format as follows:

Approved use: a pesticide is used in accordance with its conditions of authorisation

Misuse: the product has not been used according to the conditions of its authorisation, but often just carelessly or accidently, without the intention of harming animals

Abuse: a pesticide has been deliberately used in an illegal manner to poison, or to try to poison animals

Background residues: residues of pesticides found but levels are probably not indicative of lethal poisoning

Unspecified use: the cause of death was uncertain or the incident could not be classed as being in one of the other categories

Veterinary products: Incidents arising from veterinary use are not included in the scheme