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Law to keep pest imports in check passed by Senate

Ben Smith, Opposition Senate Leader (File photograph)

Bermuda’s environment got extra protection from imported pests after senators approved new legislation yesterday.

The Invasive Alien Species Act was designed to combat the importation, breeding, sale and intentional cultivation of problem plants and animals and organisms.

The legislation defined invasive alien species as “plants, animals, pathogens and other organisms that are non-native to an ecosystem, and which may cause economic or environmental harm or adversely affect human health”.

Ben Smith, the Opposition senate leader, asked Lindsay Simmons, the junior home affairs minister, who tabled the legislation, if increased staff numbers would be needed to enforce the new laws.

Ms Simmons said existing resources would be used including animal, fishery and biodiversity wardens.

She also discussed fears over the potential criminalisation of the public if banned species took root on their properties without their knowledge.

Ms Simmons said that the Government was working on a list, including photographs, to let people know what the prohibited species were.

But she told the public: “If you are knowingly bringing in, breeding or selling prohibited or restricted species, then you are a criminal.”

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Published October 07, 2021 at 7:30 am (Updated October 07, 2021 at 7:30 am)

Law to keep pest imports in check passed by Senate

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