UKTC Archive

RE: OPM Telegraph article

Subject: RE: OPM Telegraph article
From: Hare, Gareth
Date: Jul 30 2019 15:51:22
£1000,0000 a year which is ineffective at stopping OPM spreading: how much 
(on the bag of a fag packet basis) would you think would need to be spent to 
stop it spreading? 

£x now as opposed to an annual and increasing cost?

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Jon Heuch
Sent: 30 July 2019 16:41
To: UK Tree Care <>
Subject: RE: OPM Telegraph article



There are a number of things going on. Some people like to see the “police”
force at the border thinking that this is the best way of control; it gives a 
psychological support to the idea that we are in a fort & can control what 
comes in……TV reinforces that feeling.


Clearly, that has all gone when it comes to trade with EU countries. There is 
no border control. What  you see at Heathrow is for non-EU countries. 


For EU country trade there are plant passports which are meant to show the 
plants are fit for purpose so can be traded. I can’t see that they are much 
better than plant phytosanitary certificates, which most people would give 
much weight to. There are also plant inspectors in this country who monitor 
the trade, based on risk. So with pre notification of trade APHA can now work 
out where trees of several species have gone, if need be. Trace forward and 
trace back mechanisms have allowed this to be done with the oaks recently 
inspected. They could do it with several other tree species, if needed…….but 
if OPM on the imported oaks had been found a few weeks or months later it 
would have been too late…..the moths are starting to fly very shortly.


It is not so much as being lax; it is risk based; the NZders don’t think they 
are doing anything different to us…….but if you have 1,300,000 ha of Pinus 
radiata stretching almost as far as Auckland airport……and it’s one of your 
major export industries you’re probably going to be quite worried about 
things slipping in. Similarly for horticulture and dairy. If land based 
industries are a relatively small part of your economy and your tourists 
mostly come into London & don’t go anywhere near the countryside you may take 
a different approach. If you are heavily dependent on imports of food, 
agricultural & horticultural products you’re probably also going to take a 
different approach to a country that is mostly exporting them.


So, in brief, the whole process is “risk-based”; the reason why there is 
pre-notification of imports of several tree species is because of this.
Unfortunately, it does not stop me giving my gardener some cash and going to 
Europe to buy some trees from me – no pre notification required. If he was 
using his own cash & would then sell them to me he would need to register and 
pre-notify, but I wonder whether everyone does this.


I’m not defending the system, merely describing it. At times I think it’s 
madness – free trade at no risk to the trader, but the public purse bears the 
risk. We could have avoided OPM & now we’re spending £1,000,000 a year at 
control which we know is not stopping it spreading.





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