The EU Invasive Alien Species (IAS) Regulation that came in to force in 2015 imposes strict restrictions on a list of species known as “species of Union concern”. These are species whose potential adverse impacts across the European Union are such that concerted action across Europe is required e.g. Asian hornet.
The first list of 37 species – 23 animals and 14 plants – was approved at a meeting of EU Member States in December 2015 and comes in to force on 3rd August. The list of species of concern includes animals commonly found in the wild in the UK such as grey squirrel and muntjac deer. The aquatic plants included are floating pennywort, parrot’s feather, water hyacinth, water primrose and American skunk cabbage. Many of the animals on the list are also aquatic including: ruddy duck, coypu, North American bullfrog, topmouth gudgeon, and several non-native crayfish species.
More information about the IAS Regulation can be found on the website of the GB Non Native Species Secretariat. Strict restrictions will apply to these species (subject to exemptions detailed elsewhere in the GB Non Native Species Secretariat FAQ) so they cannot be imported, kept, bred, transported, sold, used or exchanged, allowed to reproduce, grown or cultivated, or released into the environment.