Sunday, October 2, 2011

Deadly foreign diseases threaten Britain's trees

Tighter controls are to be imposed on plant imports to halt an invasion of diseases that put Britain's trees in peril. At least eight major new foreign threats have been identified, with important species including oak, beech and larch in danger.
With forestry worth £7.2bn a year to the British economy, ministers fear a severe outbreak could wipe millions from the industry at a time when the Treasury wants to rebalance the economy.
Next month Caroline Spelman, the Environment Secretary, will unveil a strategy to keep the invaders at bay. She is studying import controls to prevent new strains from entering the UK, and examining extra biosecurity measures.

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