Emergency laws proscribing the motion of pine and cedar timber into Nice Britain to assist shield towards the upcoming menace of the tree pest Pine Processionary Moth has been introduced at this time (Thursday, April 28).

Pine Processionary Moth is current in North Africa and Southern Europe, particularly in Italy.

It has additionally lately been spreading northwards by way of France. Because of this laws, it is going to not be potential to import pine and cedar timber grown in international locations the place Pine Processionary Moth is established, akin to Italy and France.

Exceptions apply in instances the place Pest Free Areas are designated, or the place the timber have been grown beneath full bodily safety for his or her lifetime.

Picture supply: Max Blake

The brand new emergency regulation, within the type of a Statutory Instrument, will strengthen necessities for the import of pine and cedar timber into Nice Britain from Friday, April 29. The bolstered measures will solely allow imports of those species, of that are host species of Pine Processionary Moth, from:

  • Nations formally confirmed by the Nationwide Plant Safety Organisation as freed from Pine Processionary Moth;
  • Formally designated pest-free areas;
  • Nurseries the place the timber have been grown beneath full bodily safety for his or her lifetime.

The controls apply to all companies which import dwelling vegetation and their constituent components, together with reside plant foliage and vegetation for planting, into Nice Britain.

The restrictions don’t apply to processed plant merchandise, akin to timber, wooden chips and packaging supplies.

This motion comes following the confirmed interception of Pine Processionary Moth on a small variety of pine timber at tree nurseries in England and Wales, imported from France in February this yr. Pine Processionary Moth larvae and caterpillars may cause vital harm to pine and different conifer tree species, and pose a danger to human and animal well being.

Professor Nicola Spence, UK chief plant well being officer, mentioned:

“We now have taken authoritative and quick motion to guard tree nurseries and the broader pure setting from the upcoming menace of Pine Processionary Moth.

“The more and more globalised plant commerce, together with local weather change, proceed to current new and rising dangers from pests and ailments.

“Strengthening our rigorous requirements of biosecurity – already among the many highest in Europe – will each minimise the online potential losses to our present treescapes and serve to understand our long-term imaginative and prescient for the nation’s timber and woodlands.”