12 June 2017
DEFRA (Animal and Plant Health Agency) have prepared this useful summary that highlights the importance of good biosecurity, steps you can take, and where you can find further information on this issue.
May 2017-Biosecurity Script for stakeholders
We have developed this biosecurity script in response to requests from stakeholders, and to highlight the importance of good biosecurity, steps people can take, and where you can find further information on this issue.
Our ask of you:
- We would like you, as individuals and organisations, to use this information to help improve biosecurity and reduce the risk of disease and pests spreading.
- We encourage you to share, and disseminate this information as widely as possible, within your organisation, your members, and visitors.
- We welcome your feedback on the accessibility and usefulness of the information available on biosecurity.
- We would welcome the opportunity to collaborate with you on biosecurity messaging in the future.
Please send any comments or feedback to Stephanie.firstname.lastname@example.org
Why is biosecurity important?
- Our plants and trees are vital national assets, providing economic, environmental and social benefits.
- An estimated £6bn value to UK society each year comes from maintaining healthy crops and forestry. This comprises £3.3bn of commercial crop value, around £1.8bn of social/environmental value of forestry and £0.9bn direct commercial value of forestry and sawmilling. The true value is likely to be considerably higher than £6bn, as many social and environmental benefits cannot readily be monetised.
- Furthermore, food and drink exports are worth around £20.1bn (2013) to the UK economy. These exports rely on our excellent plant and animal health status.
- In addition to the importance of protecting our native biodiversity for its own sake, a healthy, vibrant environment supports an outdoor recreation industry estimated to be worth £20.4 billion.
- Threats to plant health have increased with globalisation in trade and travel and an increased volume and diversity of plant products entering the UK.
- We all have a role to play in protecting our nation from plant pests and diseases. All sectors have a common interest in ensuring that the UK maintains a high standard of plant health and biosecurity. It is vital that we work together to achieve our collective goal of enhancing biosecurity.
- There are some excellent resources and guidance available for various audiences and different sector.
- For general advice on biosecurity: https://www.forestry.gov.uk/biosecurity
- An online hub for plant health information, data and resources: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/
Visitors and the General Public
- Here is a series of simple steps visitors and the public can take to practise good biosecurity:
- When visiting woodlands, parks and gardens, brush the mud and leaves from your footwear, bikes and buggies between visits Public Guidance: www.forestry.gov.uk/england-biosecurity
- Don’t bring plants or cuttings home from holidays abroad https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJJ7tUODFkE
- Dispose of garden waste responsibly – never dump it in the countryside, it isn’t just pests and diseases that can cause problems: http://www.nonnativespecies.org/beplantwise/
- Know your pests and diseases: Observatree have produced a useful symptoms calendar. Find out what pests and diseases to look out for at - http://www.observatree.org.uk/tree-health/pests-and-diseases/
- The plant health portal is an excellent resource for information on pests and diseases: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/ as is the RHS: https://www.rhs.org.uk/science/plant-health-in-gardens
- Everyone can help improve biosecurity by taking part in citizen science tree and plant health activities. TreeAlert, an online tree pest and disease reporting tool developed by the Forestry Commission, is a great example of this.
- Use Tree Alert to report suspect findings - https://www.forestry.gov.uk/treealert
- Do your own tree health survey with OPAL’s help -https://www.opalexplorenature.org/treesurvey
- Download OPAL’s tree health app - https://www.opalexplorenature.org/tree-health-app
- Advice for industry on good biosecurity practicewww.forestry.gov.uk/england-keepitclean
- Sourcing of plants:
- Try to use UK growers
- Ask where it originated from as suppliers might have brought it in from overseas
- Visit the grower’s site to check it. The grower might be able to ‘quarantine’ it for you for a period of time.
- Plant Passports - Check for plant passports information https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/
- Keep yourself and equipment clean - You could be transferring pests or disease around all your sites with infected equipment and vehicles, if not washed down regularly. Videos such as Stop the Spread include practical guidance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDN7eQann2k as do Forestry Commission resources: https://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/beeh-a6tek3
- Know your pests and diseases - Keep up to date on seasonal threats and their lifecycles with the plant health portal: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/ and the RHS: https://www.rhs.org.uk/science/plant-health-in-gardens
- If in doubt, report it through TreeAlert - https://www.forestry.gov.uk/treealert. As professionals, you know when things are right and when they are not. A quick response can dramatically reduce the impact of control measures when they’re needed.
- Thereare a number of publicity materials available that we would be happy to share with your organisations, including Z-Cards for the Arboriculture, Forestry and Landscaper sectors, available online via the FC (link above), AA and LI.
- Symptoms Guides – Downloadable from the FC Keep it Clean (KiC) and Arboriculture Association website.
Landowner/Manager Guidance: www.forestry.gov.uk/england-landownerbiosecurity
- Work in developments which will be launched later this year. The existing toolkit will be refined in consultation with key stakeholders.