Save 15 million bees from being potentially destroyed under post - Brexit import ban

Save 15 million bees from being potentially destroyed under post - Brexit import ban

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Morgana Morrison started this petition to UK Government and Parliament and

Millions of bees could be seized and burned due to changes of the UK import rules since Brexit.

Beekeeper Patrick Murfet intends to bring 15 million Italian baby bees into the UK for his Kent business in order to help farmers pollinate crops.

However bringing colonies and packages of bees into Great Britan has been banned since the Brexit transition period has ended , even though queen bees casn still be imported.

Mr. Murfet is looking at importing them via Northen Ireland in April, but has been told they could be seized and destroyed if he does try.

He said "I don`t care what they think it should say. At the present the rules are clear that bees from Northen Ireland can enter the UK legally, if the law intended something else, they have not written it into legislation".

Mr. Murfet`s firm Bee Equipment based near Canterbury , imports large numbers of bees from breeders in Italy where the climate is warmer every year.

It's a trade that`s been going on for decades, as imported bees are used to replenish stocks, strenghten breeding lines and as early-awakening pollinators on the UK`S fruit and honey farms.

But the new ban could put this in jeopardy Mr. Murfet said.

Mr. Murfet who describes himself as a "passionate beekeper" and has been doing it for the past 20 yearshas condemned the situation as "monumentally stupid for a country supposed to be standing on its own two feet and exporting around the world"

He says his attemps to find out why the ban was brought in have been met with a wall of silence, save for an email from the department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) saying "Illegal imports will be sent back or destroyed, and enforcement action (criminal charges) will be brought against the importer".

The deal has already cost him a deposit of about £20,000 and he could end up £100,000 out of pocket if he cannot bring them into the country.

He added: "So far the department has overseen a policy whereby the UK is only one of three countries in Europe to see a decline in bee colonies.

"Fewer honey bees means less pollination, less top fruits and more imports"

A DEFRA spokeperson said bee health was a devolved matter and it was working with the devolved administrations to find a solution and would provide guidance as soon as possible.

It is the responsability of the importer to ensure that goods disptched from Northen Ireland meet the definition of NI qualifying goods or meet import requirements, the spokesperson added.

A third of food crops are pollinated by bees other insects and Greenspace estimates the economic value of pollination services provided by bees globally amounts to some £226bn.

Diseases and parasites, climate change and wider industrial agricultural practices as well as pesticides have combined to reduce bee numbers across the UK and Europe.

We are therefore petitioning the UK Government and the EU to either allow Mr. Murfet to keep the bees, or if courts to decree the importation of the bees illegal, to safely return the bees to Italy. The bees must not be destroyed in any way, shape, or form. If you agree with this statement, please sign the petition.

Surely both the EU and the UK know about the bees disappearing, we don't need to add fuel to the fire.

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