Regulations 49 and 50 of the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 make it an offence to
• plant, disperse, allow dispersal or cause the spread of Japanese knotweed.
• keep the plant in possession for purpose of sale, breeding, reproduction, propagation, distribution, introduction or release.
• keep anything from which the plant can be reproduced or propagated from without a granted licence.
• keep any vector material, in this case soil or spoil taken from Japanese knotweed, for the purposes of breeding, distribution, introduction or release
In 2011, the Republic of Ireland’s Actions for Biodiversity 2011-2016, Ireland’s 2nd National Biodiversity Plan was launched with 7 objectives, 21 targets and multiple actions.
Target 8 states that:
Harmful invasive alien species are controlled and there is reduced risk of spread of new species.
There are 5 supporting actions listed for this under this target:
- Prepare, by 2011, detailed species and pathway risk assessments and develop exclusion and contingency plans for priority pathways and high impact species that are likely to invade Ireland.
- Continue and enhance measures for eradication, where feasible, control and containment of invasive alien species.
- Examine options for rapid response when new invasive alien species are discovered.
- Increase awareness within the horticultural and constructed wetlands industries of native alternatives that can be used in place of invasive alien species.
- All public bodies will endeavour to use native species, landraces and breeds and the public will be encouraged to do so.
In September 2011, comprehensive regulations which address deficiencies in Irish law implementing the EU Birds and Habitats Directives were signed into law. The European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 contain important new provisions to address the problem of invasive species. A black list of unwanted species is set out in the Regulations. It will be an offence without a licence, to release or allow to disperse or escape, to breed, propagate, import, transport, sell or advertise such species. Two regulations that deal specifically with these scheduled lists of species are: