Written Answers. - Noxious Weeds.

Nora Owen

Question:

406 Mrs. Owen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development if he will have arrangements made to have heracleum mantegazzianum, known as giant hogweed, listed as a noxious plant under the Noxious Weed Act, 1936, in view of the effects this plant can have if humans come in contact with it; if there are any regulations in existence dealing with this weed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20138/00]

I have no plans to review the noxious weeds legislation which was introduced at a time when specific weeds were a serious threat to farm productivity. A variety of approved agro-chemicals and machinery are now readily available to land owners for controlling weeds. Giant hogweed is not a specified noxious weed under the Act and poses no threat to agriculture. Consequently it would be inappropriate to use agricultural legislation to deal with the issue. I would contend that good management practice by land owners in areas normally accessed by the public should extend to adequate control of this plant and should not require specific legislation.