Nurserystock group objects to changes to plant health regime

The European Nurserystock Association (ENA) has objected to proposals to include invasive alien species under the European Plant Health Regime's remit.

The association recently met in Brussels to discuss the proposed changes to the plant health regime and forward its findings to the commission last week.

ENA secretary David Brown said: "There's a recommendation to increase the scope to include invasive alien species and we don't support this in the slightest.

"Yes, they are a problem, but we don't believe that they should be tackled using the limited resources that are available for plant health. There is plenty of environmental legislation that can be used to deal with invasive species."

He said the association wanted plans to develop common ways of surveillance and reporting of plant health issues to go "one step further", with "a formal mechanism for inspectors to talk to each other".

On the issue of compensation, he added: "The ENA point of view is that it should go one step further and cover business losses rather than just losses of destroyed plants."

Brown continued: "The next step will be to publish an impact assessment. They are looking at analysing new trades in plants from outside the community and banning import on certain plants, and we think that should be included in the impact assessment. As far as new rules go, certainly we are looking at 2012."


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