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Pests

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 17 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what criteria were used to draw up the Environment Agency’s list of the top 10 worst invasive pests; (136872)

(2) what assessment was made of the grey squirrel against the criteria used to draw up the Environment Agency’s list of the top 10 worst invasive pests.

The main criterion in drawing up the Environment Agency’s (EA) list of the top 10 worst invasive pests was the impact that a particular non-native invasive species has on the EA’s activities and responsibilities. In November 2005, a questionnaire survey asked all 26 of the EA’s area teams to identify species that were having an impact and to rank the top 10 using a simple scoring system (one to 10). The overall top 10 list was derived from the aggregate scores across the EA as a whole.

The grey squirrel does not impact on EA activities and responsibilities. Therefore, it did not feature in the list.