Plant Protection Law, 1956 (Summary)

Authority

– The Minister of Agriculture, following consultation with an advisory committee appointed by him and consisting of public representatives and government workers, is authorized to:

* Regulate the movement, including import or export, of "pests", defined as "any plant or animal material, including bacteria and viruses, which causes disease in, or any other damage to, plants."

* Regulate the import, sale, distribution and packaging of pesticides, fertilizers and other materials.

* Regulate the movement of plants or plant products or their containers, including limiting or forbidding their import or export. The Minister may also require by regulation the certification of the health of plants intended for export.

* Regulate the creation and sale of plants used for propagation.

* Take action to eliminate or prevent the spread of pests. The Minister may order the destruction of plants or their containers, whether or not these are infested, if he considers it essential to prevent the spread of pests. He is also authorized, by order, to "regulate, limit or forbid the cultivation of certain plants for a certain time period if he deems it necessary to prevent infestations or their spread." Such an order must be approved within 60 days by the Economic Committee of the Knesset.

* Regulate the use of pesticides and require a permit for their use. He may also make regulations as to the safe use of pesticides or forbid or limit the use of certain pesticides if he finds them to be dangerous to human health.

* Appoint the Pesticide Committee and the Advisory Committee (see below). He may also appoint inspectors to oversee the safe implementation of the plan.

– A "Pesticide Committee" is established by the Law. The Committee is appointed by the Minister of Agriculture and is composed of public representatives and government workers, and includes at least one representative of the Minister of Health, one representative of the National Parks Authority, and one representative of the Nature Reserves Authority. The Committee:

* Prepares plans ("pest control plan") to carry out the orders of the Minister of Agriculture.

– An Appeals Committee, headed by a judge appointed by the Minister of Justice, is formed to hear complaints of those who feel themselves aggrieved by a pest control plan.

Public Announcement of Pest Control Plans

– The Minister of Agriculture is required to notify the local authority in which a pest control plan is to be carried out. He is further required to announce the plan by radio and place announcements in two newspapers with readership in the area. He is not required to announce unexpected last minute changes to the plan, nor must he announce emergency plans which must be carried out without delay. He is not required to notify the public of pest control plans in areas where pesticides are unlikely to be a health hazard for humans or animals.

Payment for Pest Control

– Those who benefit either by the direct spraying of their land, or indirectly from the carrying out of the pest control plan are required to pay the costs. The Minister of Agriculture may apportion the costs of the pest control among them as he sees fit.