Upgraded Licensing for Exterminators After Tragedy

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Knesset Ministerial Committee for Legislation has approved a bill that will upgrade the licensing procedures for exterminators, The Jerusalem Post reported on Monday.

The legislation was proposed in the wake of the recent tragic deaths of the two Gross sisters a”h, due to the negligent use of pesticides. Their two brothers have since recovered from critical condition and returned home.

The bill stipulates that only operators who receive special licenses from the Environmental Protection Ministry would be permitted to engage in extermination works.

If passed by the Knesset, it would correct the current situation in which “pest assistants,” who have not undergone adequate training, often do a significant portion of the extermination work, the ministry said.

“Only someone who has him or herself undergone organized training and passed examinations is fit to engage with pesticides,” the bill states. “The extermination license will be personal and non-transferable. This is in contrast to the existing situation, in which the sector is saturated with improper practices under which exterminators ‘sell’ their licenses to people who are not trained and not approved.”

In addition to acquiring the license, the bill would obligate the exterminator to present it prior to performing a job. And as a condition of license renewal, the exterminator would need to attend seminars every five years and meet several other obligations, the ministry said.

The new law also calls for a pesticide registrar would publish a list of licensed exterminators that would be accessible to the public.

The maximum penalty for violating the law would be up to a year in prison and a fine of up to NIS 904,000. Additionally, the ministry would be able to impose financial sanctions and fines of up to NIS 10,000 for an individual and NIS 50,000 for a corporation.