UK bio security strengthened after MEPs pass Conservative report.

26-Oct-2016 @ 14:00

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

UK bio security strengthened after MEPs pass Conservative report.

Britain's bio security will be strengthened after a report by Conservative MEP Anthea McIntyre was approved today by the European Parliament.

The new legislation introduces responsive measures to prevent the entry of new plant pests and diseases into the EU and rapidly contain the spread of any outbreaks.

Annual surveys will check for the presence of so called quarantine pests; a list of Priority Pests is to be established; and the use of plant passports, which cover the movement of plants within the EU, is being extended and harmonised.

Miss McIntyre said: "I am delighted this important piece of legislation has been adopted after years of negotiations.

"We need only to look at the devastation caused by diseases such as ash dieback in Britain and xyella fastidiosa, which affected 30,000 hectares of Italian olive groves, to understand why more effective measures are necessary. Ash dieback was first confirmed in the UK in 2012 and has spread so rapidly that it is estimated it could affect 80 million ash trees.

"Currently the detection of outbreaks in some countries is weak due to a lack of surveillance and I am proud this will now be addressed. As a continent we are only as strong as the weakest link.

"At the same time we have struck a balance between not overburdening growers and facilitating the growth of horticulture trade while protecting against pests and diseases as increased volumes of trade, travel and climate change bring with them new threats."

The legislation introduces preliminary tests for high risk plants imported from outside the EU. If these suggest an unacceptable risk, a provisional ban will be introduced pending a full assessment.

Miss McIntyre praised the help she had received from UK officials and ministers and stressed that Britain's farmers, growers, gardeners and the countryside would continue to benefit from the legislation post-Brexit.

"Plant pests and diseases do not respect borders and it is in the UK's interest that the EU has effective systems in place," she said. "This is good legislation, designed by the British, which will remain after we have left the EU."

« Back