Sudden Oak Death Virus

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:30 pm on 6th January 2004.

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Photo of Lord Whitty Lord Whitty Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Food, Farming and Sustainable Energy) 2:30 pm, 6th January 2004

My Lords, there are already very substantial controls on imports, both within the EU and from elsewhere. It is a fact that there have been a number of outbreaks within the UK of roughly the same order as in a number of individual European countries. A total ban on EU imports would therefore appear disproportionate, so long as the EU rules are being obeyed by other EU countries. The noble Baroness is right that the rhododendron is the most difficult of all the plants affected, but the outbreak is spreading internally rather than through imports at this point.