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Japanese Knotweed

Volume 461: debated on Tuesday 12 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to define standards for eradication of Japanese knotweed; and if he will make a statement. (141298)

DEFRA partially funded, and fully supports, the guidance set out in the Environment Agency's “Knotweed Code of Practice: Managing Japanese Knotweed on Development Sites”, which was published in September 2006. This sets out advice on how to deal with Japanese knotweed to an acceptable standard of effectiveness. It also advises on relevant pesticide, environmental protection and controlled waste legislation and the offence under section 14 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 of planting or causing Japanese knotweed to grow in the wild.

The Secretary of State may approve any code of practice relating to species covered by section 14 of the 1981 Act. Any such code is then admissible in any court proceedings and must be taken into account by a court in any case in which it is deemed to be relevant. The Japanese knotweed code is one that we will be considering for such approval.