Euro MPs have passed a new law to ensure greater regulation of invasive species that have a negative impact on British wildlife habitats.
The European Parliament pushed through the legislation last week, which will restrict the possession, transportation, selling and growing of a number of species which may have a harmful ecological effect.
This includes Japanese knotweed, a fast growing type of vegetation which can spread quickly in waterways and is expensive to remove. Swinton Canal has long suffered from the problem.
Linda McAvan, Labour’s Euro MP for Yorkshire, whose constituency is in Wath, said; “So far, there has been little legislation aimed at preventing rather than controlling and these types of potentially harmful species. Removing and managing them is estimated to cost the UK £1.7 billion every year.
“Here in Yorkshire, the Wildlife Trust is mapping the spread of invasive species such as Japanese knotweed, with confirmed cases both in and around South and West Yorkshire.
She added: “The plan to manage to spread of these species will now be coherent across the EU member states with much better coordination.
Early warning and rapid response systems will help us reduce the costs and further prevent the negative impacts related to new invasions.”