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Pest control company fined NIS 30,000 for leaving rodent poison in kindergarten yard

Poison was left in baby formula container; children unharmed thanks to teacher’s vigilance

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

Rodent poison left in a baby formula container in the puppet corner of a kindergarten in central Israel. (Ministry of Environmental Protection)
Rodent poison left in a baby formula container in the puppet corner of a kindergarten in central Israel. (Ministry of Environmental Protection)

A pest control company was found guilty of leaving rodent poison in an old baby formula container in a corner of a kindergarten and was fined NIS 30,000 ($8,700) on Monday.

It was only thanks to the vigilance of the kindergarten teacher at the facility at Moshav Zeitan in central Israel that none of the toddlers were hurt.

The offending firm, Sdot A.V.R. Extermination Solutions of Yavne’el, was also ordered to sign a NIS 40,000 ($11,600) guarantee not to repeat any of the offenses that it was found guilty of committing over a three-year period.

According to the charge sheet, presented in February 2021, two young children managed to open the baby formula container and touch the rodent poison left next to puppets in a corner of the yard that served as a theater.

Spotting them, the kindergarten teacher immediately stopped them and took the children for a medical check. They were found to be unharmed.

A magistrate’s court in the central city of Petah Tikva convicted the company of unlawful, reckless and negligent behavior.

Rodent poison left in a baby formula container in the puppet corner of a kindergarten in central Israel. (Ministry of Environmental Protection)

It found that the business lacked the correct licenses for pest control in a kindergarten, failed to follow the instructions for using the poison on the container, and did not report to the authorities about having left the poison behind.

The company pleaded guilty to all the charges.

The court will hear charges against the individual exterminator, Sharon Sharabi, as well as company directors, Yosef and Bar Or Linkovsky, in February next year.

The incident occurred in December 2018. An investigation was carried out by the Environment Ministry’s Green Police and police from the central city of Lod.

Four years ago, an exterminator was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for causing the death of two young girls when he treated their family’s home in Jerusalem with a dangerous poisonous substance.

Yossi Barkan, from Nataf outside Jerusalem, was convicted of causing the deaths of Yael and Avigail Gross, aged 1 and 4, by exposure to toxic chemicals, and causing serious injury to the other four members of the family. Barkan agreed to a plea bargain that saw him receive a relatively short sentence and have to pay the family NIS 200,000 ($51,700) in damages.

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