Movement ban to stop beetle spread
PUBLISHED: 12:12 16 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:17 16 January 2019
Movement restrictions have been put in place after a tree pest which poses a threat to forestry industries was discovered in Kent.
The larger eight-toothed spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus) was found in December. Legislation is being introduced in parliament to restrict the movement of all susceptible material, including trees and wood with bark, within 50km of the outbreak sites.
Government officials said it was a necessary precaution to prevent the spread of the pest further afield and will remain in place until further notice, but will be kept under review.
Industry is being urged to remain vigilant for signs of the pest and to report any suspicions to the Forestry Commission.
UK chief plant health officer Nicola Spence said: “The eight-toothed spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus) poses no threat to human health, but it can be a serious pest to the spruce tree species and the forestry industry.
“That is why we are taking robust action through this new legislation and its restriction of movement for spruce trees in a 50km area around the outbreak.
“I encourage anyone who suspects a sighting of the bark beetle to report these to the Forestry Commission online through Tree Alert.”