Tree Pests and Diseases - Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:27 pm on 13th February 2020.

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Photo of Baroness McIntosh of Pickering Baroness McIntosh of Pickering Conservative 2:27 pm, 13th February 2020

I want to take this opportunity to make two points. First, I do not think any noble Lord has mentioned Fera Science Ltd, the national agri-food innovation campus at Sand Hutton, which played a very special role in the scenario when ash dieback broke out. It is trying to find, first and foremost, a formula to prevent the spread of ash dieback, but also some way to immunise trees, as has been the case in Denmark. I am particularly concerned that we are exporting ash seeds to reimport them from countries such as Denmark, Poland and others that already had ash dieback in the trees. I hope that we can learn from that.

The only other thing that I would like to say is that many have spoken on the range of pests and diseases, and on rodents such as squirrels, muntjacs and others. Rather than protecting these species for ever, is there not a case for bringing in a review every five, 10 or 15 years?