Government to ban sale of invasive species

According to web sources, Richard Benyon MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Natural Environment, Water and Rural Affairs has communicated the Government's intention to legislate against the sale of 'blacklisted' non-native invasive species. This follows a lengthy consultation period.

The new law is expected to come into force in April 2014, initially targeting six invasive non-native aquatic plants under Section 14Z(a) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, because of their negative impacts on biodiversity and the economy.

These are: floating water primrose (Ludwigia grandiflora, Ludwigia uruguayensis and Ludwigia peploides), floating pennywort (Hydrocotyle ranunculoides), parrot's feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum), Australian swamp stone-crop (Crassula helmsii), and water fern (Azolla filiculoides).

The communication was published yesterday, 6 December 2012, on the Captive-bred Reptile ForumsCaptive-bred Reptile Forums website. A Government source had informed stakeholders of their intentions to draft the new law.

The Government source said: "To minimise impacts on business, the legislation will not come into force until April 2014, providing the opportunity for businesses to sell remaining stock and to switch to alternative species. Over the next year we will be liaising with stakeholders to help to promote the sales ban within the relevant sectors."

"Officials from Defra and the Welsh Government are working together to ensure a consistent approach is taken in both England and Wales, and we will also be informing the Scottish Government of this action."

CGO Ecology feels that there's a certain irony behind delaying the legislation to give traders a chance to sell their existing stock!