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An Ontario court has ruled that offsite drift of a pesticide is not necessarily an offence. Neighbours abutting a farm complained that they and their animals were made ill when the herbicide, Prowl, drifted from the adjacent farm. Ministry of the Environment confirmed that some Prowl had landed on the complainants’ property, and laid charges under the Pesticides Act. However, there was no damage to the complainants’ vegetation, and neither  neighbour sought medical attention for themselves or their pets.

 The judge was favourably impressed by the professionalism of the farmer, and his formal certification as a pesticide applicator. He also accepted expert advice that the level of Prowl detected on the neighbour’s properties was too low to cause adverse health affects to people or animals. He therefore dismissed all charges against the farmer. R. v. Hart,  Ontario Court of Justice, Napanee, CLB number  008339069.

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