Catalogue description Records of Pests and Infestation
|Reference:||Division within MAF|
|Title:||Records of Pests and Infestation|
Records of the ministries' infestation control divisions relating to insect and animal infestations and of measures taken to eradicate these pests.
Records are in MAF 44, MAF 130, MAF 131, MAF 212, MAF 213, MAF 214, MAF 215, MAF 346, and MAF 423
Files of various pest infestation research committees are in:
Papers of the Pest Infestation Laboratory are in DSIR 25
|Legal status:||Public Record(s)|
Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Infestation Control Division, 1949-1955
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Environment Co-ordination Unit, 1984-1986
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Environmental Pollution, Pesticides and Infestation Control Division, 1974-1984
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Pesticides and Infestation Control, 1984-1988
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Pesticides Safety Division, 1989-1993
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Safety, Pesticides and Infestation Control Division, 1970-1974
Ministry of Food, Infestation Division, 1942-1949
National Agricultural Advisory Service, 1945-1971
|Physical description:||8 series|
|Administrative / biographical background:||
Infestation Control Divisions and Laboratories
The Board of Agriculture was first charged with infestation control duties by the Destructive Insects Act 1877, and a series of Acts and orders thereafter gave the Board and its successors responsibility for the control of pests, the protection of certain forms of wild life, particularly birds, the control of the import of destructive animals and the use of pesticides. In addition to the formulation of policy these duties involved the supervision of the local authorities charged with enforcing the legislation and the provision of advice, funding and equipment.
Until the Second World War responsibility for the various aspects of infestation control was shared between the Horticulture Division and the other commodity divisions of the Ministry, except for the period from 1917 to 1919 when the Food Production Department exercised some functions. Also, from 1922 the Ministry of Health was responsible for the control of shipboard vermin and rats and mice in port sanitary districts. The latter responsibility reverted to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in 1947.
In 1942 most infestation functions were transferred to the Infestation Division of the Ministry of Food, the residue (relating to rural areas) being exercised within the Horticulture Division by the Land Pests Branch. The establishment in the Ministry of Food of a separate division marked a move away from a policy which aimed to control infestation by prevention and, if that failed, by physical destruction towards one based on scientific research and the use of chemical agents and resistant strains of crops. During the war the Ministry of Food was itself responsible for the control of infestation within its food buffer depots, while local authorities retained responsibility elsewhere.
From 1 September 1947 the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries resumed all responsibility for infestation control, taking over the Infestation Division from the Ministry of Food as the Infestation Control Division. The division ran the Infestation Control Laboratory to carry out research, and this subsequently set up a Field Research Station at Worplesdon. In 1960 the division was absorbed by the National Agricultural Advisory Service, while the laboratory remained separate until 1970 when it was amalgamated with the Agricultural Research Council's Pest Infestation Laboratory to form the Pest Infestation Control Laboratory within a new Safety, Pesticides and Infestation Control Division. The responsibilities of the division included the administration of statutory controls, the distribution of grants, for the destruction of farm pests, the provision of advice on pest control and research into infestation of all kinds; it also administered the Safety Inspectorate.
In 1974 the Environmental Pollution, Pesticides and Infestation Control Division was created, the safety aspects of the old division having passed to a new Agricultural Safety, Training and Wages Division. This arrangement lasted until 1984 when a separate Environmental Co-ordination Unit was established, and a new Pesticides and Infestation Control Division was created. In 1988 this was renamed the Pesticides Safety Division, though it still retained responsibility for both control of pesticides and crop protection. In 1993 the division was established as an executive agency of the Ministry, the Pesticides Safety Directorate.
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