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Species control agreements and species control orders

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The Code of Practice for Species Control Provisions in Wales sets out how they should be applied to control or eradicate an invasive non-native animal or plant.

Natural Resources Wales and Welsh Ministers are the environmental authorities in Wales with the powers to offer, or make, Species Control Agreements or Orders. They may also be used to control formerly resident native animals where they have been released unlawfully. This code relates to Wales only.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has published a separate code of practice for England (external link).

We recognise Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) are a substantial environmental and economic threat to Wales. Preventing INNS from becoming established is more effective than trying to control them once they are widespread when control can be very expensive or no longer viable.  

The primary use of Species Control Provisions is to control or eradicate newly arrived INNS or INNS species with a relatively restricted distribution. Other provisions such as Community Protection Notices issued by the police or local authority under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 may be more appropriate for tackling widely spread INNS.

Unless urgent action is required, voluntary agreement for access between the owner of a premises and the environmental authority must always be sought in the first instance.

The Code describes when it is appropriate to apply the following type of species control provision:

  • A Species Control Agreement may be offered where informal agreement has not been reached. They set out the steps that need to be taken, by who and by when. They are voluntary, although non-compliance could lead to the making of a Species Control Order. 
  • A Species Control Order may be made where the owner of a premises cannot be identified, for non-compliance with a Species Control Agreement, or in an urgent situation. These are compulsory by law. 
  • An Emergency Species Control Order may be issued if delaying action is likely to significantly compromise the eradication or control of an INNS.

We held a public consultation on a draft Code of Practice for species control provisions which set out how these provisions should be applied in Wales. The consultation ran from 12 January 2016 until the 5 April 2016. 

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