Protecting Great Britain from harmful plant pests and diseases

Protecting Great Britain from harmful plant pests and diseases

22 Sept 2021

A joint Defra, Scottish and Welsh Government consultation sets out a new vision for plant health and potential measures to strengthen the existing biosecurity regime. Specifically, views are sought on:

  • the effectiveness of our current plant and tree health regulations;
  • ways industry and the Government can work together to support a biosecure plant supply chain and ensures the safe sourcing of planting stock;
  • how we enhance the nation’s technical capability, using innovative science and technology to keep pace with emerging threats and ensure preparedness for the future; and
  • tougher action to protect against biosecurity risks associated with trees susceptible to high-risk pests and diseases.

UK Chief Plant Health Officer Nicola Spence said: “We take the nation’s biosecurity very seriously and currently have some of the strongest measures in Europe. This consultation provides an opportunity for us to build on our current regulations and ensure our high plant health and biosecurity standards are maintained.

“I urge everyone working in the sector and the public to respond to this consultation so we can uphold our biosecurity standards for future generations.”

This consultation supports Defra’s campaign - Plant for Our Planet – which aims to inspire the nation to get planting, helping us to build back greener and step up our efforts to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss. Our plants have a crucial role to play in fighting climate change, providing a home for nature, and bring numerous environmental, economic, social and wellbeing benefits.

The new strategy will align with forthcoming GB Invasive Non-Native Species Strategy, ensuring a joined-up approach to the restoration and improvement of the environment as set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan where we have committed to improving biosecurity.

The consultation closes on 30 November 2021 and can be found here.