A bill that will increase regulation and licensing of exterminators is one step closer to becoming law. The Exterminators Bill is headed to the Knesset (Parliament) for a second and third reading, after it was unanimously approved by the Knesset’s Internal Affairs and Environment Committee yesterday, Jan. 25, 2016. Once approved, the new law will give an appropriate and professional response to the many potentially deadly issues related to pest control activities.
The proposed Exterminator Bill includes significant safety and public health improvements and innovations regarding pesticides and exterminators. Among the elements of the bill:
- All exterminators will be required to pass a training course recognized by the Ministry of Environmental Protection before receiving a license;
- All workers in the extermination business will have to be licensed;
- There will be a variety of different types of licenses, and the type of work an exterminator will be allowed to do will be dependent upon the license;
- Types of pesticides and treatment methods will be ranked in terms of health risks and danger to the environmental, such that exterminators will be urged to use prevention methods first, and only chemical pesticides when necessary;
- Supervision and enforcement powers will be expanded to include financial sanctions and stricter punishment – including the possibility of jail time – for violators of the law.
Pesticides are hazardous substances that are often used inside or within close proximity of residential homes. Therefore, they must be closely monitored to prevent disasters that can result from pirate use. In that vein, for the first time ever, this law will give Ministry of Environmental Protection inspectors the ability to enforce the law in the Israeli army, police, and other security offices.
Environmental Protection Minister Avi Gabbay: "The Interior Committee approved a law that will save lives. Regulating the field of extermination and the use of poisons will increase the safety of citizens and of the exterminators themselves. I thank Knesset Member David Amsellem and the members of the committee for their vigorous actions on this issue."