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New legislation to prevent Rose Rosette Virus

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New legislation introduced to prevent arrival and spread of Rose Rosette Virus

red rose

There has been factual coverage published in Horticulture Week and Pro Landscaper Magazine this morning outlining new legislation introduced to stop the arrival and spread of the Rose Rosette Virus (RRV) to the UK.

Nicola Spence, Defra Chief Plant Health Officer said:

Protecting our country from pests and diseases is vital to safeguard our environment, economy and health.

The Rose Rosette virus poses a serious threat to our iconic roses, indeed we’ve seen the damaging effects it has had in North America. This is why we are implementing strong preventative measures to ensure the virus does not arrive in the first place.

The virus causes ‘witches’ broom’, distorted leaf growth and a reduction in cold hardiness which can lead to the death of roses. All roses are considered under threat by the virus and its insect vector, as there’s no known tolerant or resistant varieties.

New regulation will nip any potential UK outbreak in the bud, enforcing that all rose plants and cut flowers imported from Canada, India, Mexico, or the USA must be accompanied by an official phytosanitary certificate outlining that they have been grown in a Rose Rosette Virus-free area.

Defra publishes landmark Environment Bill positions

There is widespread positive coverage of Defra’s updated Environment Bill policy statement published yesterday (23 July), which sets out new measures to enhance wildlife, transform our waste system and improve the resilience of water supplies.

The Telegraph reports on the powers in the Bill for consistent household recycling across every local authority by 2023, making it easier for people to recycle.

There was also positive coverage in the i of the government’s new report on air quality, assessing progress towards World Health Organization (WHO) guideline levels for fine particulate matter (PM2.5).

The Daily Mail, Daily Express, The Sun, and The Western Daily Press report on the powers in the Bill that will enable a deposit return scheme to be implemented from 2023.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:

We know we must do all we can to protect our precious natural environment. There is a clear need to act to ensure we do not leave this planet to the next generation more polluted, more dangerous and denuded of its natural riches.

The measures in our Environment Bill will position the UK as a world leader, ensuring that after EU Exit environmental ambition and accountability are placed more clearly than ever before at the heart of government.

As we have set out today, our plans will improve air quality so that our children live longer, restore habitats and increase biodiversity, strive towards a more circular economy and ensure we can manage our precious water resources in a changing climate.

The government’s upcoming Environment Bill will put environmental ambition and accountability at the heart of government.

Sri Lankan waste

There is coverage in today’s Telegraph and Daily Mail of alleged illegal exports of hazardous waste from the UK to Sri Lanka.

The Environment Agency has not received a repatriation request from the Sri Lankan authorities. Defra officials have contacted the Sri Lankan authorities directly to better understand the situation and determine next steps.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said:

We are committed to tackling illegal waste exports, which is why individuals found to be exporting incorrectly described waste can face a two year jail term or an unlimited fine.

We are yet to receive a formal request from the Sri Lankan Authorities, but Defra has contacted them directly to find out more information.

For more information on the Environment Agency’s work to tackle illegal exports please read our latest waste blog.


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  1. Comment by Sally Reader posted on

    Please can DEFRA look closely at the appalling suffering of animals in the Live Export Trade and hurry up and BAN this wicked Trade? There is absolutely NO Excuse for allowing it to continue other than to 'Line the Pockets ' of uncaring and frankly , unscrupulous Farmers . It ia a barbaric trade , resulting in horrendous suffering with every export . Please uphold our Country's Animal Welfare Standards , referred to only this afternoon by the new PrimeMinister !! Thank you