Bishop of St Albans asks Government to take action on protecting forests from disease

14.03 Bishop of St AlbansOn 17th December 2013, Lord Clark of Windermere asked Her Majesty’s Government what progress they have made in implementing the recommendations of the report of the Independent Panel on Forestry.

The Bishop of St Albans asked a supplementary question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, as Her Majesty’s Government will be aware, there are several very serious diseases affecting trees in this country. What steps are being taken to ensure that, with the reorganisation of the responsibilities of the Forestry Commission, this important disease prevention, control and elimination work will not only continue but be strengthened?

Lord De Mauley: That is one of my department’s top four priorities, and we are making rapid progress in taking forward the implementation of the recommendations of the expert task force that the Secretary of State set up. In fact, this morning I attended our monthly biosecurity meeting and we are absolutely focused on both those plant health issues that are approaching us from overseas and those that are here already. We have established a prioritised plant health risk register, we are appointing a new chief plant health officer and we are engaged in contingency planning, among many other things.


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