Biosecurity for plant health: better justification of precautionary measures

Project Lead: Chris Pollard
Host Institution: Forest Research, SRUC, University of St Andrews
Project Date: 31 March 2022 to 30 August 2022
Reference Number:
PHC2021/05
Biosecurity image collage
Whilst it is generally agreed that ‘prevention is better than cure’ in plant health, translating such logic into precautionary actions does not always happen. Precautions can be encouraged in a variety of ways – through development of implementable actions, risk assessments, encouragement of best practice, and general appeals to adopt approaches which prevent future losses. However, this does not adequately address risky behaviour. Whilst better information may not be sufficient to change practices, there is a weakness in our ability to justify precaution. This project seeks to address this gap by considering whether there are different approaches, or additional information which might be considered.

Drawing upon and summarise existing literature, in addition to engagement with experts and practitioners with knowledge of existing sectoral practices in Scotland, UK and internationally, as well as gap analysis, the project will generate a better understanding of the rationale for taking precautions and an improved evidence base with which to justify taking action, answering four main questions:
• What are the current barriers to adopting precautionary measures?
• How can barriers be reduced?
• What are the limitations of the current risk assessment process?, and
• What are the priority areas for action and further research?
Publication Type (field_publication_type)
Position:
Social Scientist
Institution: Forest Research
Position:
Social and Economic Research Scientist
Institution: Forest Research
Position:
Behavioural Scientist
Institution: Forest Research
Position:
Economist
Institution: Forest Research
Position:
Forest Pathologist and Programme Manager
Institution: Forest Research
Position:
Institution: Forest Research
Position:
Institution: Scotland’s Rural College
Position:
Sustainability Scientist
Institution: University of St Andrews