A consultation on Management Measures for Invasive Alien Species (IAS) which ran for 8 weeks in July and August this year was due to have a summary of responses published and a government response in mid-November.
This has now been put on hold in light of the recent decision to hold a general election and the associated pre-election period. Defra are unable to publish these until after the new UK government has been formed.
Defra and the Welsh Government issued the following interim statement setting out their joint position ahead of the Enforcement Order coming into force on 1 December.
“Having considered the evidence provided through the consultation and stakeholders’ meetings, Ministers have decided to proceed as follows:
We will continue to support the general management actions being taken to manage widely spread species in England and Wales already set out in Appendix B, but will further consider how we can address a number of points raised in the consultation regarding:
1. The need for further research into these species.
2. The need to explore alternatives to lethal measure where feasible, and to ensure that any necessary lethal measures are carried out humanely.
3. The greater need for public awareness of the impacts of invasive alien species (IAS).
4. The need for greater coordination of effort to deal with these widely spread species.
We will implement licensable management measures in line with the proposals set out in Appendix C of the consultation document. In the light of the evidence presented in the consultation, licences will additionally be considered to allow widely spread invasive plants to be transported, and kept (in a biosecure manner), for the purposes of public education. This would help the identification of these species in the wild to aid in their eradication, population control or containment.”
A full summary of responses and the government response will be published as soon as possible.
The consultation & interim response can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/invasive-alien-species-management-measures-for-widely-spread-species-in-england-and-wales