New Plant Health Measures in force from 26th June 2020

Emerald Ash Borer - Kent Loeffler © Cornell University

Today new strengthened measures to assist the fight against Agrilus planipennis (Emerald ash borer) and Candidatus Phytoplasma Ulmi (Elm yellows) will be introduced into Scotland.  This means any imports directly into Scotland, of certain hosts of these pests,  will need to meet the criteria set out in The Plant Health (Official Controls and Miscellaneous Provisions) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2020  – Schedule 1. Failure to comply with these regulations will mean the stock will either be destroyed or sent back at your expense.

 

It was the Scottish Government intention to introduce strengthened control measures for Ceratocystis platani (plane canker) and Xylella fastidiosa (Xylella)  as Defra had but due the intervention of the European Commission, it was not possible to do so at this time.  However, the biosecurity threat regarding these pests has not changed or the reason for introducing stronger requirements. 

The Scottish Government continues to strongly encourage stakeholders and industry to employ risk management practices when considering the sourcing or purchasing of Xylella host plants, particularly the high risk hosts Coffea (coffee), Lavandula (Lavender), Nerium oleander (Oleander), Olea europaea (Olive), Polygala myrtifolia (Polygala), Prunus dulcis (Almond), and Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary). 

Scotland will continue to carry out intensive inspections of imported plants, taking account of risk factors such as origin, presence of insect vectors, suspect symptoms etc. 

The implications of a confirmed finding of Xylella are substantial, including felling of plants within a 100m radius and trade restrictions across a 5km radius.  A finding of plane canker would also cause substantial impacts.

We will keep the need for any further actions under review in light of the ongoing risk situation, including developments in the EU and the results of our own surveillance.