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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 August 2005, 09:25 GMT 10:25 UK
Mali MPs push for insecticide ban
A locust in the hand, BBC
The pesticides were used to combat locusts
Parliamentarians and councillors in Mali are calling on the government to stop using pesticides which they say are polluting the Kidal desert region.

The pesticides were originally for use against locusts, but they are still being spread although the locust threat no longer exists in that part of Mali.

The cross-party group of MPs wants the pesticide stocks destroyed.

They say cattle are dying from contamination, and they are concerned about the long-term effect on humans.

They also say pregnant camels are aborting.

"The stocking and spraying of such products has polluted clean air and created choking gases in the Sahara," a statement from the group said.

"We note the consequences [to animals] of this crime," the statement said.

According to the National Programme against Obsolete Pesticides, an "important" well in the Kidal region can no longer be used as a result of pesticide pollution, the AFP news agency reports.

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