The Scottish Government are introducing tough new laws, on non-native invasive species such as Japanese knotweed. The Japanese knotweed laws are being introduced to help cut down on the accidental release of non-native species.
Under the new Japanese knotweed laws it will be an offence to plant invasive species in the wild that is out with its native range, either intentionally or unintentionally.
The Environment Minister, Stewart Stevenson, said "We have taken an internationally agreed approach to non-native species - based on prevention of introduction as we can not always predict which species will become a problem - and have become the first country in the UK to translate this into law."
Japanese knotweed law - a code of practice
In addition to introducing new Japanese knotweed laws, The Scottish Government have also released a ‘Code of Practice on Non-Native Species' to help people understand their responsibilities. The Code of Practice will also outline which public body has a responsibility for Japanese knotweed.
Japanese knotweed and other invasive species is reported to cost Scotland over £244 million per year and it is hoped that the new Japanese knotweed laws and Code of Practice will help reduce this cost by reducing the spread of Japanese knotweed and other invasive species.
The legislation that covered non-native species is contained in the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 but this has now been superseded by the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011 and the new legislation came into force on July 2nd 2012.
SEPA welcome Japanese knotweed laws
The CEO of SEPA, Professor James Curran welcomes the new Japanese knotweed laws and said "this new regime will help SEPA to deliver the healthier rivers and lochs we all want by allowing us to work more effectively with partners to tackle the real threat to Scotland's water environment from invasive non-native species."
The Rotter responds to the Japanese knotweed law changes
Les Meikle, a.k.a The Rotter, from Wise Knotweed Solutions and Wise Property Care stated that "the new Japanese knotweed law changes are an extremely positive move from the Scottish Government. The new laws explicitly state that Japanese knotweed should not be spread and this will hopefully reduce the levels of Japanese knotweed around the country.
Speak to a Japanese knotweed specialist
If you have, or suspect you have, Japanese knotweed on your property then contact Wise Knotweed Solutions on 0808 231 9218 for help and advice or you can find your local branch.
Alternatively, you can email the team online using our contact form.
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