Ireland calls for tougher restrictions on bioweapons

A spokesman for Ireland's Labour Party has called for new legislation banning biological weapons to also include the prohibition of transmission of bioweapons through Irish airspace.

“There is evidence of the use of biological weapons in practically every other major conflict, so this legislation is urgent,” a Labour TD told the Irish Times. “It is very important that we not only prohibit any work in this regard but also, as a country interested in international law, that we bring forward the legislation dealing with Shannon

Ireland's Cabinet approved the Biological Weapons Bill this week, which prohibits the use, development, production, manufacture, possession, stockpiling, acquisition and retention or transfer of biological weapons.

Ireland's new ban will apply to all vessels and aircraft registered in Ireland as well as to members of the Defence Forces and citizens of Ireland outside of the nation.

Michael Higgins, the spokesman on foreign affairs for Labour, told the Irish Times that the bill, as it currently stands, does not extend the ban to the transmission of biological weapons through Shannon and other airports.

Higgins also said that the bill should be brought forward in conjunction with the newly announced Air Navigation Bill, which is being discussed by the Cabinet subcommittee on extraordinary rendition.