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McEntee announces enhanced Ash Wood ban

The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for forestry, Shane McEntee TD, today introduced important legislation regarding the importation of ash wood into the country.  Similar measures are also being introduced today in Northern Ireland.  Under the new Regulations, ash wood will be allowed into the country but only if it is from areas known to be free of the Chalara Ash Die Back disease or kiln dried or with the outer round surface (including bark) removed. 

The purpose of the Regulations is to minimise the disease risk while permitting imports of ash wood in certain forms or from disease free areas.  Many manufacturers are already importing hurley planks that meet these requirements and they can continue to do so.  Others who, for example, import ash butts from areas where the disease is present will need to change their supply arrangements to comply with the new legislation. 

By way of assistance, Minister McEntee has met with Coillte who supply most of the domestically produced ash. He stated that “Coillte have agreed to bring forward the harvesting of ash to help alleviate any interim supply issues that might arise.”

Announcing the new legislation today Minister McEntee said “The legislation brought in today introduces strong legal measures for wood combined with the measures brought in last month for plants.  This means that north and south of the border rules are in place to prevent the risk of the disease being imported into the island”.  Minister McEntee added “While I understand plants are the highest risk in terms of a pathway for the disease, wood is also a risk and I was particularly concerned with high risk unprocessed wood such as firewood entering the country from infected areas.” 

 

 

Notes to editors

The legislation provides the following:

A person shall not land wood of genus Fraxinus L. into the State originating in countries where Chalara fraxinea is known to occur unless the wood –

(a) is accompanied by a plant passport or an official statement stating that it originates in an area known to be free from Chalara fraxinea, or

(b) is squared so as to remove entirely the rounded surface, or

(c) is bark-free and the water content is less than 20% expressed as a percentage of the dry matter, or

(d) if sawn, with or without residual bark attached, has undergone kiln-drying to below 20 % moisture content, expressed as a percentage of dry matter, achieved through an appropriate time and temperature schedule. There shall be evidence thereof by a mark ‘Kiln-dried’ or ‘KD’ or another internationally recognised mark, put on the wood or on any wrapping in accordance with current usage.   

Further to the introduction of measures restricting the import of ash plants from areas within the EU that are known to have the disease, the movement of ash plants within the country are now also subject to plant passport requirements.  Any nursery wishing to trade in such plants whether domestically or for export should immediately contact the Department. 

 

Date Released: 07 November 2012