Michael Fleming, IFA Farm Forestry Chairman welcomed commitment of Shane McEntee, Minister of State with the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine to launch a national coordinated campaign to deal with the treat of the Ash Dieback disease.
IFA agreed to work with the Minister to increase awareness of the very serious threat posed by Ash Dieback disease and minimise the risk of further outbreaks. Mr Fleming stated that it was private forest owners that would be worst affected if disease could not be contained. He asked farmers with ash plantations, particularly if the plantation was established using imported ash, to be on the lookout for the symptoms of the disease and report findings to the Forest Service.
The Minister notified IFA that all ash plantations established since 2008 using imported ash plants are currently undergoing inspections and would be inspected regularly over the coming years by the Forest Service.
IFA is working with the Minister to devise a strategy to address the risk posed by imported ash plants that were planted under the REPS and AEOS schemes.
Furthermore, the Association warned the Minister and his officials that if the disease had any chance of being contained all imported ash plants that were planted by the National Roads Authority must be destroyed.