Rainbow

Rainbow

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Giant Hogweed added to list of noxious weeds under Ontario's Weed Control Act

Environmental Bill of Rights Registry: Addition of Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) to the list of noxious weeds under the Weed Control Act

Over the past two seasons, OMAFRA staff have seen an increase in reporting of giant hogweed in different areas across Ontario. Giant Hogweed has the potential to become invasive and overtake some habitats such as creek and ditch banks. The objective of the Weed Control Act is to minimize the impact of noxious weeds on agricultural land.

Until now, municipalities that were concerned about this weed negatively affecting agricultural land used the provisions in the Weed Control Act to enable them to enact a bylaw to designate Giant Hogweed a local weed within the municipality.

The addition of giant hogweed to the list of noxious weeds will eliminate the need for individual municipalities to go through the processes required to enact their own local weed bylaw under the Weed Control Act where it is negatively affecting agricultural lands.

However, a municipality might wish to still pass a bylaw to address the presence of Giant Hogweed in areas other than agricultural or horticultural land. Municipalities can enact bylaws under the Municipal Act to control plants in areas where there is a potential for negative impact to human safety.

Any person (e.g. landowners, municipalities, provincially owned land, conservation authorities, etc.) in possession of land where noxious weeds are present and negatively affecting agricultural lands, are responsible for controlling them and the cost associated with doing so. Any person wanting to use a pesticide to manage Giant Hogweed on their property can do so through the exception under the Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act that allows the use of specific reduced risk pesticides to control plants that are poisonous to the touch.

Other Information:

The University of Guelph and OMAFRA are partners in a research project evaluating best management practices so as to provide guidance to municipalities.  OMAFRA is also engaged in various outreach and education activities to enhance the control of Giant Hogweed in Ontario.

For additional information on the Giant Hogweed, please consult Ontario Weeds: Ontario Weeds.

Other Public Consultation Opportunities:

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs is committed to open consultation on decisions that may have significant impact on the environment. OMAFRA and partner ministries will be developing a broader strategy for the management of giant hogweed. Public consultation will be part of the broader strategy for the management of giant hogweed.