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Plant pests and diseases

We are responsible for protecting Scotland's high plant health status and the economic benefits it brings.

Our policy is to encourage good plant health and biosecurity practices and ensure appropriate contingency planning to prevent plant pests and diseases becoming established in Scotland.  

Please visit the SASA website for further information on plant health and plant health policy. 

Policy and legislation

Plant health policy is fully devolved to the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Ministers are responsible for the response to any notifiable plant disease. 

Plant health controls in Scotland are based on the EU Plant Health Regime. This is implemented in Scotland via Scottish legislation through the Plant Health (Official Controls and Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Regulations 2019.

The regulation sets out detailed requirements for many plant species entering or moving within the community and are regularly amended to keep these controls up to date.

Fees for various plant health services are also set out in legislation.

Further information on the Plant Health Regime and how it applies in Scotland can be found on the SASA website

The Scottish Plant Health Strategy

The Scottish Plant Health Strategy sets out our approach to the protection of the health of plants (agricultural and horticultural crops, plants in parks and gardens, forestry and the natural environment) in Scotland.

The strategy aims to:

  • demonstrate the importance of safeguarding Scottish plant health to protect and enhance Scotland's economy and natural environment
  • indicate how Scotland will take forward the Plant Biosecurity Strategy for Great Britain
  • ensure SG and stakeholders work together to protect plant health in Scotland

Read more: Scottish Plant Health Strategy


To prevent the introduction and spread of harmful organisms we carry out the following activities:

  • regular surveillance to guard against outbreaks of specific pests
  • deals with any outbreaks of quarantine or other serious plant pests within Scotland, or with the potential to spread to Scotland
  • ensures compliance with controls on the movement of plants and plant products within the EU (including within Scotland and the UK), and
  • inspects plants and plant products entering Scotland from countries outside the EU, or being exported to those countries

Plant pest and disease guidance 

We have produced guidance on the plant pests and diseases that are of a significant risk to Scotland. This includes:

  • Xylella fastidiosa
  • Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (LSo
  • Phytophthora ramorum, kernoviae, lateralis and austrocedri
  • Spotted Wing Drosophila (Drosophila suzukii)
  • Citrus Longhorn Beetle

Information on a wider range of pests and diseases can be found on:


Biosecurity is a set of management practices that collectively reduce the potential for the introduction or spread of disease-causing organisms on to and between farms.

The Plant Biosecurity Strategy for Great Britain provides a high level overview of the work we are doing to improve plant biosecurity with Defra and Wales. Developed in consultation with stakeholders it details how this activity will meet the recommendations of the Independent Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Expert Taskforce.

UK Plant Health Risk Register

The Plant Health Risk Register is a major step in implementing the recommendations of the Taskforce. It is a tool for government, industry and stakeholders to prioritise action against pests and diseases which threaten our crops, trees, gardens and countryside.

Waste disposal guidance

We worked with Defra and the Welsh Government to prepare a Code of Practice for the Management of Agricultural and Horticultural Waste which describes measures for minimising plant health risks from the disposal of such waste. 

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