Sunday, 1 April 2018

Call for post-Brexit trade deals to safeguard against invasive species

Conservation charities estimate cost of dealing with predators at £2bn a year, and warns this may spiral without strong prevention measures

Fiona Harvey environment correspondent
Tue 27 Mar 2018 06.01 BST

Invasive species such as Japanese knotweed, signal crayfish and New Zealand flatworms must be subject to stronger safeguards after Brexit, a group of conservation charities has urged, or the cost of dealing with them may spiral.

They fear that future increased international trade outside EU rules could threaten further invasions, while the status of safeguards under potential trade deals could be put in doubt.

The cost of managing invasive species, and dealing with the consequences of their spread, is already likely to be more than £2bn a year by conservative estimates, according to Wildlife and Countryside Link, a consortium of 12 NGOs calling for government assurances. They said that in the past three years alone, three of the highest-risk invasive species – the Quagga mussel, the Asian shore crab and the brush-clawed shore crab – have made their presence felt.

Non-native species arrive in the UK through imports of ornamental or aquatic plants, on ship hulls or in their ballast water, or inside the packaging of plants and food – even lurking within wood and fruit. Once they take hold, they threaten native species, spread disease and parasites, and a lack of natural halts or predators in the UK can allow them to flourish.

No comments:

Post a comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails