Phytophthora ramorum and Phytophthora kernoviae in Scotland: status report

This paper sets out the history of these diseases in Scotland, the current situation and the actions being taken to control them.

2. Control measures

EU requirements

The current measures required by EU legislation (2002/757/EC) aim to eradicate P. ramorum from commercial plant production and to at least contain outbreaks in the wider environment. The legislation requires that:

  • host plants may only be imported into or moved within the EU if they are free of the pathogen;
  • nurseries growing certain host plants for planting must have a plant passport and be inspected at least twice a year during growing season;
  • if any infected material is found at a nursery or garden centre, it must be treated by:
    • destruction of the infected plants and all susceptible plants within a 2m radius;
    • holding all susceptible plants within 10m radius for 3 months of growth with at least two inspections in that time;
    • inspection of all other susceptible plants on the premises for signs of disease.
    • no treatments to be applied to suppress symptoms;
  • Member States must undertake and report annually surveys of cultivated and uncultivated plants for evidence of the disease;
  • if the pathogen is found at sites other than nurseries, measures must be taken at least to contain it.

There is, as yet, no specific EU legislation relating to P. kernoviae, but as with any new disease problem, we are required to notify findings and prevent its spread to other Member States.

EU requirements were due to be reviewed in 2014, but we do not yet know whether the requirements will be modified.

Initial Controls in GB

From the first findings of P. ramorum in England, plant health authorities in GB agreed to take stronger action than the EU minimum on outbreaks at sites other than nurseries, aiming at eradication wherever possible, and to take the same measures against P. kernoviae as against P. ramorum. This was managed initially through a GB Programme Board which included the Scottish Government, Defra and Forestry Commission and subsequently during the Defra project (2009-2014) by a Project Board.

The Scottish Government (includes Forestry Commission Scotland ( FCS)) continues to maintain contacts with Defra, The Animal and Plant Health Agency ( APHA) and Forestry Commission in other parts of GB to exchange information about current outbreaks, control measures and research.


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