HC Deb 06 December 1989 vol 163 c248W
Mr. Colvin

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he will ban the importation of plants from Holland in order to control the spread of Liriomyza trifollii among plants;

(2) what compensation is proposed for those growers compelled to destroy crops inflicted with Liriomyza trifollii;

(3) what has been the incidence of Liriomyza trifollii in plants over the last 10 years: and what steps are being taken by his Department to counter this problem.

Mr. Curry

Between 1979 and 1988 there were about 350 confirmed Ministry findings of the North American leafminer, Liriomyza trifollii, on plants. The Ministry has maintained a policy of eradication of this pest and has so far succeeded in ensuring that it has not become established in this country. No compensation is given by the Government to growers who are compelled to destroy crops infested with the pest. However, we are operating eradication measures which are designed to limit the loss suffered by producers to the minimum necessary to secure eradication and in practice this often now means the destruction of plants can be avoided. We have recently reached agreement with the Dutch authorities on a wide range of measures necessary to combat the threat from the South American leafminer, Liriomyza huidobrensis. We are watching the situation very carefully and will not hesitate to take further action if necessary.