Asian hornet: pest-specific contingency plan

This plan sets out the role of the Scottish Government in response to a suspected or confirmed incursion of the Asian hornet (Vespa velutina nigrithorax) within Scotland: the actions to be taken as well as governance, roles and responsibilities.

External Communications and Correspondence


80. Asian hornet is notifiable under Regulation (EU) 1143/2014: The Non-Native Species Secretariat (NNSS) will make the required notification on Scotland’s behalf as it is a Member State (UK wide) obligation.

81. Communicating effectively with stakeholders is key to preventing a significant incursion of Asian hornet in Scotland.

82. A detailed Communications Plan accompanies this Contingency Plan and will be owned by the Honey Bee Health Policy Team who will be responsible for ensuring that it is implemented at the appropriate points.

Beekeepers and related Stakeholders

83. Local beekeeping groups and associations and the Scottish Beekeepers Association will be informed and consulted for advice as required by the Oversight Group meeting. Other stakeholders will be kept informed of developments. Academic institutions, specialist pest control experts or government departments overseas with specific expertise in Asian hornet, will also be consulted if necessary.

84. In the event of a confirmed Asian hornet incursion, the SG Honey Bee Health Policy Team will trigger its communication plan which includes notification to registered beekeepers within 20km via BeeBase and advice/guidance with the wider stakeholder community (e.g. Bee Farmers Association (BFA), Scottish Beekeepers Association (SBA), animal health field officers, veterinary officers, allotment associations, garden centres, pest control companies, local authorities/councils, ports authorities etc.) to raise awareness.

UK devolved administrations

85. For cross-border outbreaks, all relevant UK Government departments will be included in the Oversight Group meeting, but otherwise will be kept informed of any outbreaks in Scotland. Regular updates will be provided to Defra, Welsh Government and DAERA.

General public

86. Information on the outbreak will be made available on the SG and NatureScot websites.

Immediate area of outbreak

87. RPID will work in partnership with the Local Authority environmental health colleagues who will provide information to people within the immediate area of the outbreak, including information from NHS Scotland and Public Health Scotland. As there has now been a human toxic shock incident confirmed in GB, after an Asian hornet sting, warnings to the public in this area must be highlighted


88. External communications will be coordinated through the SG Press Office. The official spokesperson for interviews with the media will be agreed at the first meeting of the Oversight Group meeting. Any request for a press interview will be sent to the SG Press Office.



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