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Minister Wallace Outlines Measures for the Control of Noxious Weeds

The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food, Mary Wallace T.D., today outlined the positive steps taken in recent years to control noxious weeds.

The Minister said that her Department has engaged in public awareness campaigns during the last two years, directed at landowners, which includes farmers, developers and Local Authorities. These campaigns were run twice yearly (March and May) and consisted of press releases, press notices and widely circulated posters, reminding landowners of their responsibility to control offending weeds under the Act. She added that the Teagasc advisory leaflet on the control of noxious weeds is to be found on their website at www.teagasc.ie or alternatively professional advice on control methods can be obtained from the local Teagasc advisor.

She said that the control of noxious weeds is a cross-compliance requirement for the Single Farm Payment under Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition since 2005 and failure to comply with this condition may result in a reduction in the Single Farm Payment.

The Minister continued by saying that Local Authorities were written to in May of this year, reminding them of their obligation under the legislation and also notices were sent out to Local Authorities in the June/July.

The Minister said she was pleased to note that the National Roads Authority (NRA) recently informed her Department officials that it was embarking on a package of initiatives for the control of noxious weeds. The NRA is commissioning consultancy services to advise on appropriate procedures for dealing with noxious weeds and invasive weed species on national roads. Specifications and methods for treating such species will be developed and issued to local authorities, which will form the basis for treatment of noxious weeds on the national roads network, as part of the local authorities' routine maintenance programmes in 2008. The NRA is also considering the provision of a dedicated financial allocation to local authorities in 2008, specifically to address the control of noxious weeds on the approximately 5,500 kilometres of national road.

17 August, 2007

Date Released: 17 August 2007