April 16, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

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'The Minister rejects an enforcement request against ten tire companies that carry tiger mosquitoes'

‘The Minister rejects an enforcement request against ten tire companies that carry tiger mosquitoes’

Outgoing Minister Tamara Van Ark Medicare has rejected the enforcement request submitted by the Invasive Alien Species Stop Platform Foundation. The platform had requested action against 10 tire companies where tiger mosquitoes or yellow fever mosquitoes have been found in the past three years.

According to the platform, this means that companies imported or stored wet tires, and this is prohibited. The minister does not give any reason for the refusal. However, it does report on inspection visits made at companies this spring. The Dutch Food and Consumer Safety Authority (NVWA) found that only one company (in Montfort) had violated regulations, but it is not known which regulations were involved. In addition, it appears that NVWA still turns a blind eye when companies import wet tires, which, according to the platform, pose a significant risk of introducing and spreading exotic mosquitoes. In two of the companies that, according to NVWA, complied with all regulations (in Lelystad and Assen), tiger mosquitoes have now been found – for the ninth year.

tiger mosquito
The tiger mosquito is an Asian mosquito that can spread more than 20 viral diseases, such as dengue, Zika, chikungunya and various types of encephalitis (encephalitis). Yellow fever mosquito is also a species of Asian mosquito that can spread various viral diseases, such as yellow fever and dengue fever. Importing used tires from all over the world where tiger mosquitoes and yellow fever mosquitoes now originate – the result of importing those tires! – It is an important introduction route.

So protective regulations were imposed in 2018 on the basis of the Public Health Act, including the obligation to import and store tires in dry conditions. Because eggs that may be in tires need water to hatch.

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According to the platform, the presence of strange mosquitoes in the companies indicates that the companies are violating those rules. That is why the platform submitted a request to the Minister in April to take enforcement action against the 10 companies where tiger mosquitoes or yellow fever mosquitoes were found in the years 2018 to 2020. This concerns tire companies in Montfort, Emellord, Lelystad, Almere, Hardenberg, Assen & Wirt (two companies), Etten-Lower and Heingen.

Wilfried Reinhold, Chair of the Platform: “The Minister has devoted at least 16 weeks to drafting a decision on the request, but even so, there is no motive for the refusal. A fundamental flaw that we will certainly object to. Then, it appears from the decision that he sent a number of NVWA inspectors to the 10 tire companies this spring for an inspection. Although this was not what the platform requested, you still expected that inspectors would specifically look and ask about dry import and dry storage, and that these items would be discussed in detail in the decree. But this is very disappointing – certainly with regard to dry imports.

Kargro in Montfoort is the only company where NVWA has found violations, but whether they are related to dry import or dry storage is unclear from the decision. It is also possible, for example, that work instructions for employees were not clearly visible.

Nothing is ever mentioned about dry imports when it comes to Kargro in Emmeloord and Heuver in Hardenberg, Profile Tirecenter and Ruband in Weert and the Vrokken sites in Etten-Leur and Heijningen. Dry storage is usually mentioned specifically, but not when it comes to the Kargro sites in Montfoort and Emmeloord and the Profile Tirecenter in Weert. The documents have already shown that dry import is a blind spot in NVWA’s inspections, and this has been confirmed again. But if NVWA is on the alert for this and detects that frames are being imported wet, you’ll expect NVWA to run on them.

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The reality is different, according to the minister’s decision on the Robbo inspection in Lelystad on June 10: “Almost all tires are dry on arrival, according to the company. The company indicated that if the tire occasionally gets wet upon arrival, it will be vacuumed immediately before gluing and moving it. During the inspection, it was established that the company complied with all regulations of a technical and sanitary nature that were imposed on this company.

wet import
Reinhold: “So the company admits it is in violation of the ban on importing wet tires, but NVWA nevertheless found that the company adheres to all regulations. Importing wet is prohibited because it is too risky. If container tires enter the country of origin while they contain water, eggs can develop And larvae and pupae into adult mosquitoes, which fly when the container is opened and spread over the company premises and in the surrounding area. Drying tires on the company site also carries risks. Eggs, larvae and pupae that are still in the water can end up in a drain, for example , where they can grow into adult mosquitoes.So it is not surprising that tiger mosquitoes were found near Rubio shortly after this inspection, on July 8 and 28 and August 5. For the ninth year in a row.

Tiger mosquitoes have already been found in Dekabo in Essen, with the NVWA concluding on May 31 that all regulations were met. No less than seven times: on June 23, 5, 12, 14, 20, 27, and August 3. The tiger mosquito has also been found here for nine consecutive years. The fact that NVWA was around on May 31 when one container was emptied and found that these tires were dry doesn’t say much. NVWA was not present while unloading all other containers delivered to the company before and after this inspection moment. Incidentally, it’s known from NVWA’s previously published inspection reports that Dikabo sometimes imports wet tires as well, and that NVWA doesn’t work against that.

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This underscores the relative value of a visit to such a company: NVWA must simply take enforcement action if it appears that regulations are being violated. So if there is a tiger flying around it. Or if the company admits that it is not complying with regulations.

Of course, the platform will now also require the minister to take enforcement action against these new violations by Robeo, Dikabo, and other tire companies where strange mosquitoes have been found this year.