New Legislation to Protect Oak Trees from Oak Processionary Moth Comes Into Force 21st August 2018

On Tuesday 21 August 2018, new legislation will come into force to protect oak trees against the imminent danger of introducing Thaumetopoea processionea (oak processionary moth-OPM) into the OPM Protected Zone through import and movement. The link to the legislation is here http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/910/contents/made

The legislation applies to oak trees (Quercus L), other than Q. suber,  with a girth at 1.2m above the root collar of 8cm or more.  Such trees represent the greatest likelihood of introducing OPM, hence the need for strengthened requirements.  Existing requirements on OPM freedom continue to apply for trees with a smaller girth than 8cm.

The legislation prohibits the movement of plants into the OPM protected zone unless specific conditions are met. The legislation requires that imports into and movements within the OPM protected zone can only take place if the oak trees concerned:

-       have been grown throughout their life in places of production in countries in which Thaumetopoea processionea L. is not known to occur;

-       have been grown throughout their life in a protected zone which is recognised as such for Thaumetopoea processionea L. or in an area free from Thaumetopoea processionea L., established by the national plant protection organisation in accordance with ISPM No. 4;

-       have been produced in nurseries which, along with their vicinity, have been found free from Thaumetopoea processionea L. on the basis of official inspections carried out as close as practically possible to their movement and official surveys of the nurseries and their vicinity have been carried out at appropriate times since the beginning of the last complete cycle of vegetation to detect larvae and other symptoms of Thaumetopoea processionea L.; or

-       have been grown throughout their life in a site with complete physical protection against the introduction of Thaumetopoea processionea L. and have been inspected at appropriate times and found to be free

The action has been taken following a recent interception in trade of OPM from the Netherlands.

Detailed operation guidance will be available in the next two weeks on the HTA wesbite about these new requirements.

Further information on OPM can be found here

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