Final Report and Policy Document

Biosecurity practices to support plant health: a review of knowledge and practice

Biosecurity foot wash station in New Zealand. Image credit: Matt Elliot

This research investigated plant biosecurity risks from site visitors, tools & equipment, and large machinery. In addition to reviewing published guidance, UK businesses and organisations were engaged via questionnaires and interviews to explore how these aspects of biosecurity are understood and what procedures may be in place to address them. By better understanding the issues faced by individuals attempting to protect their businesses and organisations from these risks, more appropriate guidance can be produced to help them.  This review has gained a good understanding of current biosecurity practices across sectors in Scotland, highlighting the need for clear, evidence led, sector-relevant, biosecurity guidance for businesses and organisations managing the biosecurity risks associated with visitors, tool hygiene and machinery movement.  Biosecurity success is likely to depend on coordination across sectors through a shared understanding of the issues and aligned activity to address them.  Assessing risk is very difficult for organisations and therefore a key recommendation of the report was the requirement for a simple resource showing the highest risk and notifiable pests for each sector that would greatly help organisations trying to understand risk.

Image credit:  Matt Elliot (RBGE)