Thursday, 6 December 2018

Ceisteanna (22)

Catherine Martin

Ceist:

22. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the measures in place for tackling invasive species such as Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam and gunnera tinctoria; and the role of his Department in managing the control of invasive species. [51156/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

My colleague, Josepha Madigan TD, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is responsible for the enforcement of Irish legislation which deals with Invasive species. The Wildlife Act and The European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 477/2011), both prohibit the spreading of invasive species. The European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 contain important provisions to address the problem of invasive species and includes a list of approximately 70 plant and animal species considered to be the most harmful invasive alien species.

My Department recognises the problem of Alien Invasive Species. Information sheets are available on the most important species in relation to agriculture on our Department Website. (https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/farmerschemespayments/glas/glastraining)

Under Cross Compliance measures the control of invasive species is implemented under Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition (GAEC). GAEC 7 is the ‘Retention of Landscape Features & Designated Habitats and Controlling Invasive Species’. Under GAEC 7 Invasive Species must be controlled and failure to take appropriate measures to prevent the encroachment/proliferation of invasive species on to land may lead to a sanction on a farmers EU funded payments.

My Department have a representative on the National Invasive Species Working Group which is coordinated by Teagasc. This group meets regularly to discuss and progress issues on Invasive Species in Ireland, including legislation, funding and training.