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

Yes, my Lords, my noble friend is correct in saying that more than 70 per cent is in stock of British origin. Therefore, at this point the main issue is the internal spread. I should like to record my gratitude to the Forestry Commission in diverting substantial numbers of its own staff to the inspections, which will detect whether the disease is significant within our woodlands. A number of areas may be exposed, of which the most important so far has been the nurseries. If it spreads into woodlands more generally, we would have a real problem on our hands.