Minister accepts ring rot report

JUNIOR DEFRA minister Ben Bradshaw has announced he will implement 53 out of the 54 recommendations made as part of the potato ring rot Lessons Learned review.

The minister said the only recommendation he rejected was that a mock exercise should be carried out for contingency planning purposes.

This would have tested DEFRA‘s response to various scenarios which might be experienced in dealing with a ring rot outbreak.

“This recommendation has been overtaken by events, in dealing with the UK‘s second and now third ring rot outbreaks,” he claimed.

The minister said most of the recommendations had already been acted on, or will be implemented in the coming months.

But a small number would require more detailed consideration and discussion with industry organisations.

“These include monitoring arrangements for domestically produced and imported seed potatoes, monitoring of seed potatoes moving outside the classification scheme and notification arrangements for seed potatoes intended for planting.”

Mr Bradshaw said he proposed there should be a further period of consultation as regards monitoring and notification arrangements.

“The aim will be to seek agreement on these key issues before the 2006/07 financial year,” he said.

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