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Minister Doyle Launches Don't Risk it Plant Health Awareness Campaign

The Minister of State for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle T.D., today officially launched his Department’s “Don’t Risk it!” Plant Health awareness raising campaign for 2019 targeted at international travellers, tourists and commercial businesses who are bringing plants, plant products and other high risk items made of plant material into Ireland from abroad. 

Minister Doyle said, “I am delighted to launch this year’s plant health awareness raising initiative by my Department at Bloom.  My Department is committed to the protection of Ireland’s horticulture industry and wider environment from exotic pests and diseases.’’ 

Plant Health is closely linked with Food Safety, Food security and protection of the wider environment.  Plants of course play a vital role with pollinators in biodiversity.

The aim of the “Don’t Risk It!” campaign is to raise awareness around the importance of plant health and how the public can play a part in protecting it. Bloom is the perfect platform to launch this strategy and the Minster encouraged people to visit the Department at stand 17 in the Floral Pavillion and engage with them on this topic. 

Minister Doyle concluded “I believe that this campaign will generate greater awareness among the general public of this serious issue and that people will think twice and decide when abroad, not to risk it but instead leave all plants and plant products in that country. People can also visit my Department’s website www.agriculture.gov.ie/dontriskit where more information is available.”

Notes for editors:

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is promoting a “Don’t Risk it!” awareness raising campaign targeted at international travellers, tourists and commercial businesses who are bringing plants, plant products and other high risk items made of plant material into Ireland from abroad.  This campaign is fully endorsed by the European Plant Protection Organisation (EPPO) and the European Commission via revised plant health legislation.  One of the pathways of plant harmful organisms entering Ireland is through people bringing plants or plant products into the country which contain these pests/diseases. 

The objective of the campaign is to highlight the social, environmental and economic impact of bringing in infected plant material or quarantine pests and diseases into Ireland.  These impacts can be enormous, e.g. Xylella fastidiosa is a new disease for Europe, which effects over 200 plant species such as Oak, Beech, Ash, Rosemary and Lavender.  It is found in parts of Italy, France and Spain with devastating effects.  It is essential both from an economic and environmental perspective that diseases such as this are prevented from entering and  becoming established in Ireland.  

 

 

 Minister Doyle Launches `Don¿t Risk it¿ Plant Health Awareness Campaign

ENDS

Date Released: 30 May 2019