The use of creosote to treat wooden fencing posts in agriculture is not included in an extension being granted by the European Commission.
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Fence posts to miss out on derogation for use of creosote

An extension for the use of creosote for certain products has been extended until October 31, 2029, having previously been set as October 31, 2022.

However, the use of the oil to treat fence posts commonly used on farms is not included in this extension, meaning it – as originally dated – cannot be used for this purpose after October 31.

A document published by the European Commission this month stated that from the information collected and the views expressed by member states, it appears that creosote, and wood treated with creosote, are still needed in many member states for railway sleepers and for utility poles for electricity and telecommunications.

Alternatives to creosote

The document also stated that there are alternative biocidal products to treat wooden railway sleepers and utility poles for electricity and telecommunications.

However, time is needed to test and have a sufficient return on experience of those alternative products, and to ensure that they can meet the long service life expected of railway sleepers, according to the commission.

Therefore, it appears as if the time needed to test these alternatives is required by member states and as such, an extension on the use of creosote for the treatment of railway sleepers and utility poles has been extended by seven years.

The document did not mention fence posts in this extension or any other timber products that use creosote as a treatment, apart from those specified uses.

Last week at the Irish Farm Buildings Association Conference (IFBA) the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) said that the purchase of creosote fence posts would be permitted up to April 30, 2023.

Speaking to attendees at the conference, Dr. Robert Leonard of the DAFM said: “Creosote will no longer now be used as a treatment for fence posts as EU regulations are set to change on it use.

“Creosote posts can be bought to be sold on the market up to November 30, and a use-up period for any posts on the market to be sold will be up to April 30, of next year.”

Fonterra Cooperative Group, the world’s biggest dairy exporter, raised its earnings forecast for the second time in three months after a strong first quarter driven by demand for protein products.

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